In his enthusiasm he had attempted to swallow a food bolus
which was simply too large to pass easily into his oesophagus.
He had quite simply "bitten off more than he could
chew!" Consequently, it was jammed fast across the
entrance to his windpipe (trachea).
As you can imagine, for anyone who has experienced a similar
situation, you are not entirely composed or relaxed enough
to allow anyone else to go poking their fingers into your
mouth! The only option is to sedate the patient to attempt
Sedating a patient and thereby causing a degree of respiratory
depression in a patient who is already struggling to breathe
is not without risk. Timing is absolutely crucial.
Using a special mouth gag to open his jaws the second he
was sufficiently sedated and then applying grasping forceps
around the offending "chew" it was a tremendous
relief for all concerned when the food bolus popped out
and his tongue became pink again.
Will "Jordan" have learned his lesson? I doubt
it. Perhaps, weighing in at around 7 pounds, he should stick
to a few chipolatas over the Christmas season and leave
the turkey leg to someone else!
Dunne BVMS, Cert SAO, MRCVS
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