Procedures in food choking to be posted in establishments

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BAGUIO CITY  – The City Council approved a resolution requesting all restaurants, fastfood chains, eateries and other similar establishments to post in conspicuous places inside their establishments proper procedures in handling food choking as part of safety measures in cases of emergency situations in the future.

The resolution authored by Councilor Leandro B. Yangot, Jr. stated that choking is a medical emergency that requires fast and appropriate action by anyone knowledgeable and available to save an individual from eventual death once not given the appropriate attention within the first few minutes of having been chocked.

Further, he noted that emergency teams may not arrive in time to save a choked individual’s life, thus, the need for the proper procedures in handling choking incidents to be posted in conspicuous places to serve as guide for everyone inside the establishment to apply once there are individuals that are choked while patronizing such establishments.

The resolution defined choking as a blockage of the upper airway by either food or other objects that prevents an individual from being able to freely breath, thus, it can cause a simple cough if partial blockage is present or may lead to death if there is complete blockage of the airwave.

Yangot claimed towards this end, local government units through their respective councils are mandated to enact local laws that ensure and strengthen the implementation of programs, projects and activities geared towards the aggressive promotion of the general welfare.

Section 15, Article 2 of the 1987 Constitution provides that the State shall protect the right to health of the people and instill health consciousness among them.

The resolution added that the proper procedures on choking to be posted inside the establishments shall include messages such as “make sure the victim has been chocked and determine whether or not it is a partial or complete airway obstruction; if the victim is experiencing mild choking or partial obstruction, ask the victim if he or she is okay; if the victim can respond to a person verbally, wait as someone who has been completely choked cannot speak at all; it is important that people employing the first aid remedies do not use back blows on an individual who has partial airway obstruction because there is the risk of lodging the previously semi-loose object deeply and potentially causing a total obstruction; administer first aid, if the victim is choking severely or  suffering from a total airway obstruction and if conscious, communicate your intent to perform first aid; it is a good idea to make sure that someone who is conscious know what you plan to do as it will also give him an opportunity to let you know if such assistance is welcome; give back blows; administer abdominal thrusts; modify the abdominal thrusts for pregnant women and obese; make sure that the object is complete gone; check to see if normal breathing of the person has returned and administer help if the victim falls unconscious.”

The resolution underscored the posting of the proper procedures in handing victims of choking will allow any available person inside the establishment to implement such procedures when the situation requires them to do so.

By Dexter A. See

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