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10-year-old girl chokes to death on frankfurter

21 Comments

A 10-year-old girl choked to death on a frankfurter during lunch while on a school field trip in Shikokuchuo, Ehime Prefecture.

According to school officials, the incident occurred at around 12:30 p.m. Thursday during a field trip by students of Kawanoe elementary school, Fuji TV reported.

The girl was eating a frankfurter which got stuck in her throat. A teacher applied emergency measures and dislodged the frankfurter but the girl lost consciousness and fell into a state of cardiopulmonary arrest. She was taken to hospital where she died about 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

The school said the frankfurters that the children had for lunch for about 9 cms long and 2.5 cms in diameter.

The girl was one of 86 students and 11 staff on a three-day field trip at a nature facility that began on Aug 17.

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21 Comments
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A teacher applied emergency measures

What exactly were the emergency measures? If the Heimlich maneuver was performed properly, she shouldn't have died. Poor girl! RIP

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

In the Japanese news it said he just hit her back, no mention of the Heimlich maneuver. That was yesterday though, maybe there have been more details released since then.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Little premature to blame the teacher isn't it?

16 ( +17 / -1 )

Sad and almost certainly preventable.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

May be other students will learn to chew their food instead of biting and swallowing without macerating their food . The loss of this Girl is a terrible thing. So sad for her parents

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

It is sad enough that the young lady lost her life.(RIP) But the immediate search for placing blame is indicative of other problems in some cultures.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

"May be other students will learn to chew their food instead of biting and swallowing without macerating their food."

Almost 10 people a DAY die from choking on food. Accidents happen.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Apparently Japan is still teaching the procedure for choking as hard pats on the back without immediate Heimlich maneuvers

The Red Cross has changed its "official procedures for choking" stance several times in recent years but the currently accepted practice is immediate and forceful Heimlich maneuvers followed by CPR in the case of cardiac arrest. The CPR methods have also changed in recent years.

Sorry to hear that this happened. But it was not the fault of the hot dog nor the teacher. Not everyone can be saved from tragedies, sad though that may be. A revamp of first aid training for school teachers would do a lot of good for the entire nation though.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

i have seen the Heimlich maneuver save the lives of two people and the maneuver was applied by every day people ,in both cases people were chocking on boiled lollies.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Apparently Japan is still teaching the procedure for choking as hard pats on the back without immediate Heimlich maneuvers

As far as I can tell, that is also the current advice from the Red Cross. That's what I can find on both the British and US Red Cross website.

The Australian Red Cross gives the same recommendation, so back blows is clearly the first resort.

http://www.redcross.org.au/files/Choking.pdf

If you look at the Australia pdf, you'll notice that they recommend moving on to chest thrusts if back blows are ineffective. This is explicitly not the Heimlich manoeuvre, which uses abdominal thrusts. Some experts say that abdominal thrusts (which are intended to use the diaphragm to apply pressure on the lungs, is much less effective than using direct pressure on the lungs). During choking, the diaphragm is already raised, so chest thrusts do a better job on the lungs.

Unfortunately Heimlich has spent a lifetime immersing himself in the science of quackology, claiming to have found miracle cures, and looking for ways to apply the Heimlich manoeuvre where it's neither wanted nor needed. This means that whatever the advantages of the manoeuvre, his integrity is (at best) strongly in question. Even if many lives have been saved, it is necessary to consider 1) whether his method is the best approach, which is now known to be doubtful and 2) whether it has also endangered people, which is now known to be likely.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Tragically, most people do not know the hazard in eating a simple frankfurter (aka hot dog). The 2.5 cm diameter is blocks the airway completely. To avoid this issue, all anyone needs to do is slice the wiener after cooking it. so simple. Slow chewing also helps, but not if a person laughs while eating and a 2.5 cm. I learned this from a firefighter decades ago. Why it isn't part of standard food safety, is mystifying.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I would say sticking a finger directly in the throat is even better than the Heimlich maneuver

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

At my school it is compulsory to do the American Red Cross First Aid course every 2 years. We have never been trained to do hard back pats, only the Heimlich manoeuvre.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

At my school it is compulsory to do the American Red Cross First Aid course every 2 years. We have never been trained to do hard back pats, only the Heimlich manoeuvre.

Nonetheless, the American Red Cross now recommends 5 back blows before the Heimlich manoeuvre. And Australia doesn't recommend the Heimlich at all.

http://www.redcross.org/flash/brr/English-html/conscious-choking.asp

http://www.the-sidebar.com/2011/08/scoop-i-think-canadian-red-cross.html

For anyone who comments here to say that the Heimlich manoeuvre should be the first action, at least look at some sources to confirm whether that's true or not. The Red Cross changed its guidelines in 2006, and Heimlich himself has been accused of falsifying data, and basically just making extravagant claims without providing any data at all. He has a personal and financial interest in making his procedure take priority over all others, hence the insistence that immediate application of the Heimlich manoeuvre is the best course.

Mainly what we can learn from Heimlich (yet again) is that we should be suspicious of celebrity doctors.

http://www.quackwatch.org/11Ind/heimlich.html

2 ( +2 / -0 )

People need to be certified in CPR!!!! Sure an emergency Defibrillator is good but you don't always have them around.

Such a useless death! RIP child...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Skeeter27, an AED is useless for a choking victim.

I seem to recall blows to the back were not recommened years ago, just after the intro of the Heimlich manuver. The reasoning being it would cause the victim to inhale, driving the obstruction deeper down the windpipe. It made sense at the time and still does. The Heimlich, properly appied is highly effective.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

>For anyone who comments here to say that the Heimlich manoeuvre should be the first action, at least look at some sources to confirm whether that's true or not.

Indeed. I checked a few Japanese sources. This Japan Medical Association pamphlet says Heimlich first if you can do it, otherwise back pounding.

http://www.med.or.jp/99/kido.html

In contrast, this Japan Red Cross pamphlet places the emphasis on back pounding and suggests doing it before trying Heimlich.

A MEXT directive seems to slightly favor Heimlich but introduces three methods for dislodging material and explicitly says "it doesn't matter which you use, just keep repeating and if one does not seem to be working, try another."

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Here in the UK defib units are being installed into shops, pubs, restaurants, bike shops etc I am sure that there is an app you can down load so if there is a case of an emergency you can find these units very quickly. I know this is no help to this young girl, its another sad loss. In this case I am not blaming the teacher, lets face it, were not doctors were only first aiders, and thats my point, we are the link between the incident and the medical team turning up who are much more qualified, and have more tools and drugs and expertise, first aiders are the first port of call, and do save lives, but with out us more lives would be lost, so please don't be to hard on the teacher, He/she tried, its better than not doing a thing, and just standing there watching some die.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Here in the UK defib units are being installed into shops, pubs, restaurants, bike shops etc I am sure that there is an app you can down load so if there is a case of an emergency you can find these units very quickly.

Increasingly common in Japan although I have no data to compare with Britain. One Japanese language source I looked at claims that 200,000 have been placed in Japan.

Here is a link to the iPhone AED finder for Japan.

https://itunes.apple.com/jp/app/ri-ben-quan-guoaedmappu-wu/id421697422?mt=8

And the Android version.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=appinventor.ai_oaniijuf.NipponAED&hl=ja

I didn't look for English language versions or check to see whether the apps offer more than one language.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Almost all JR stations have AED's in them now as do most if not all Kobans and police stations. But AED's can't cure everything..!

It seems the medical community is quite divided between back blows and Heimlichs. I would suggest that both of them work and both should probably be tried, whatever the order is, if one is not effective in removing the blockage in a particular case, the other maneuver just might be.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Bullfighter I've down loaded that info on to my phone, JB your right AED can't cure everything but if they save a few more lives thats better than non at all, Ive been on quite a few first aid training courses, and the general agreement is that its better to have some knowledge and try and save a life than someone just standing around not being able to to do a solitary thing because they don't know. even if you give first aid it gives that person 4-5 minutes vital attention and help so that paramedics can get the scene and take over. can i suggest to anyone reading this article that if you have no medical understanding get your self on a first aid course, you will never know when it might be used.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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