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Man chokes on cuttlefish ball in southern Taiwan

Heimlich maneuver, CPR could not save middle-aged man

Man chokes on cuttlefish ball. (CNA photo)

Man chokes on cuttlefish ball. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A 47-year-old man surnamed Lin (林) from Kaohsiung City’s Sanmin District was eating dinner with his family when he suddenly choked on a cuttlefish ball on Sunday (Feb. 11).

Family members administered the Heimlich maneuver, but he was unable to remove the object as he stopped breathing and lost his heartbeat. An ambulance brought him to Kaohsiung Armed Forces Hospital, where doctors removed the cuttlefish ball, but he could not be revived, per UDN.

According to family members, Lin was hurriedly eating when he began choking. It is reported that Lin was unmarried and rarely visited home outside of major holidays, as this family reunion ended in tragedy.

According to the Taipei City Government Fire Department, the Heimlich maneuver should be applied when one is choking on food, though a few steps are needed. First, if someone is coughing hard or experiencing mild choking, do not interfere with the patient's spontaneous coughing, per Liberty Times.

In more serious cases, when the patient is unable to speak or creates a wheezing sound when inhaling, one should immediately stand behind the patient in a lunge position with the front foot between the patient's legs.

Make a fist with one hand and place it on the upper abdomen, slightly higher than the navel. Then, use both hands to pull back and lift the patient's stomach quickly and repeatedly.

If the patient is pregnant or obese, the hugging position can be adjusted to the sternum and the two nipples, just like the CPR compression position.

If a person is severely choking and unconscious, they should be laid on their back on the ground. Press the forehead and lift the chin to open the patient's respiratory tract to check to see if there’s a foreign body in the patient's mouth.

If nothing is visible, pinch the patient's nose with your thumb and index finger and perform mouth-to-mouth artificial respiration.

If air still cannot be blown into the lungs or the chest does not rise, immediately give 30 chest compressions (at a rate of about 100–120 times per minute) and then repeat with two breaths of mouth-to-mouth respiration and then 30 chest compressions until medical staff arrive.