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Asphyxiation: Types ,Causes, Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention

Aug 21, 2023

Asphyxiation: Types ,Causes, Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention: FMT

The lack of sufficient oxygen in the body is known as asphyxiation, sometimes known as asphyxia or suffocating. It can result in death, brain damage, or loss of consciousness if quick action is not taken.

Asphyxia is distinct from being asphyxiated. Asphyxia is the absence of oxygen, whereas asphyxiation is the death brought on by this absence of oxygen.

Injuries that result in death frequently involve asphyxiation. Many people died in 2018 because of suffocation, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

ENT Residency

Types Of Asphyxiation

Asphyxiation can occur in a variety of ways, including:

  • Mechanical asphyxia. An object or physical force that prevents you from breathing is known as mechanical asphyxiation. Additionally, it contains bodily configurations that could make breathing difficult.
  • Trauma-related asphyxia. Mechanical asphyxiation, such as that caused by trauma, is one such. Traumatic asphyxiation is caused by an intense external force (trauma) to the thoracic cavity, a chamber in the body encompassed by the rib cage, muscles, tissue, and skin. Your brain and neck receive a forced supply of blood from your heart through your veins.
  • Perinatal asphyxia (birth asphyxia)- perinatal asphyxia occurs when the child does not receive an adequate amount of oxygen before during and after birth.
  • Asphyxia due to compression. One sort of mechanical asphyxiation is compression asphyxiation. Your chest or abdomen is being compressed by a powerful external force. Examples include having a lot of people press up against you (as at a concert) or having someone sit or kneel on your chest.

Also Read: Skull Fracture: Types, Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis And Treatment

Causes Of Asphyxiation

  • Chemical Poisoning-Carbon monoxide, cyanide, hydrogen sulphide, and chemicals in household cleaning products are among the substances that might result in asphyxiation.
  • Overdose on opioids. Opioids are substances that interact with your nerve cells to lessen pain. Your breathing may become laboured or stop if you take too many opioids.
  • Drowning. Asphyxiation caused by having your head submerged in a liquid, most commonly water, is what is meant by drowning.
  • Hindrance (blockage) by foreign objects. Your airways are blocked by foreign items. Poorly swallowed food or choking on vomit from alcohol poisoning can also result in obstructions.
  • Strangulation. When a hand, rope, cord, or other object is wrapped around your neck and limits your airway, it is called strangulation.

Also Read: Complete Postmortem Techniques Guide - NEET PG FMT

Symptoms Of Asphyxiation

Asphyxiation symptoms include:

  • Dyspnea, a shortness of breath.
  • Breathing quickly or deeply (hyperventilation).
  • Consciousness loss.
  • Coughing.
  • The voice that is raspy or harsh.
  • Unable to speak.
  • Red, Purple, Blue, or Grey Discoloration of the face or lips.
  • Swallowing problems or an inability to swallow.
  • Loss of memory.
  • Uncontrollable faeces or urination.
  • Dizziness.
  • Headaches.

Also Read: Spinal And Cardiac Poisons

Diagnosis Of Asphyxiation

A medical emergency called asphyxiation requires urgent medical attention. Inquire if they are choking if you notice a youngster or adult nearby who has suddenly stopped breathing. If they are unable to speak, look out for the following warning signs and symptoms:

  • They are clutching their throat, which is the universal symptom of choking.
  • Coughing is shallow.
  • Wheezing.
  • Lack of verbal ability.
  • Falling asleep.

For signs that a baby is having trouble breathing, such as a weak cry or a shallow cough, watch for changes in their behaviour.

Also Read: Introduction to MEDICAL ETHICS - Forensic Medicine

Treatment Of Asphyxiation

Treatment for asphyxia is based on the source of your breathing problems. Treatment options include:

  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). Until your heartbeat comes back, chest compressions help keep blood flowing to your essential organs. Heimlich manoeuvre Abdominal thrusts help in removing airway blockages.
  • Medications. Certain asphyxiation causes can be treated with medications. An inhaler for asthma, an EpiPen® for an allergic reaction, or Naloxone (Narcan®) for an opioid overdose may be among them.
  • Mouth-to-mouth Resuscitation. Resuscitation by mouth-to-mouth promotes breathing. You can do mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on victims of opiate overdoses or drowning.
  • Oxygen treatment. Your body receives oxygen through a breathing tube, oxygen mask, nasal tube, or ventilator.

Also Read: Thermal Injury: Types, Causes, Signs and Symptoms, Treatment

Prevention Of Asphyxiation

A meticulous approach is the best defence against asphyxiation. Call 911 immediately if a person you're with is having trouble breathing.

Chew your food thoroughly, then wait until you've swallowed before speaking. While they are eating, keep an eye on young children. Encourage them to chew their food well before speaking, and to take small mouthfuls.

Keep an EpiPen with you at all times if you have a food allergy. For all foods you consume, read the ingredients label.

A minimum of one additional person should be present during swimming. Be sure to wear a life jacket if you cannot swim.

In case you get an asthma attack, always carry an inhaler with you.

Also Read: Regional Injury: Types of Fractures, Intracranial Hemorrhages, Diagnosis, Causes - Forensic Medicine

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