Chew before you swallow

A seemingly harmless piece of chicken nearly killed Morris Bennett. This is his story:

"It was three weeks before Rosh Hashana. I came home from work, starving, and hurriedly looked around the kitchen for something to eat. I spotted a pot of chicken cooking on the stove, lifted a fillet out of the pot and shoved it into my mouth, without giving too much thought to its size or temperature. I must not have chewed it very well because as soon as I swallowed it, I realised something was wrong.

Struggling to breathe, I figured a gulp of water would push the blockage in my throat downward. I drank the water and it just came right back up. Now I knew I was in trouble. My 8-year-old son was in the kitchen with me at the time and witnessed my distress. I managed to signal to him to call my wife and even though he was obviously alarmed, he ran to fetch her. In the time it took for him to call her, I had passed out.

My wife arrived and instinctively performed the Heimlich maneuver, which knocked the obstructive piece of chicken out of my throat, but I remained unconscious. She called Hatzolah in the process and the next memory I have of that day was waking up to Hatzolah paramedics and my wife standing over me, encouraging me to wake up. Hatzolah responders suggested I have an X-ray, which I did. Choking incidents always carry the risk of the object getting into one’s lungs. Luckily, my lungs were fine and I’m now fully recovered.

I know the experience was very frightening for my son, who saw me battling to breathe and gasping for air, and I too was very shaken by it. I chew my food more carefully now! Had it not been for my wife’s swift and effective efforts in dislodging the object and calling Hatzolah for help, I would not have survived."

The CPR training centre aim is to train as many people in and around the community on CPR, choking and other lifesaving skills. Our main course we offer is the Family and Friends course which is aimed at parents, domestic workers and kids. In this course we cover CPR and choking for Adults, children and infants. We also cover awareness topics, as in Heart attacks, strokes and first aid for the home (burns, bleeding, poisoning etc...) It's very important to understand that every second counts. By bystanders starting CPR or dealing with a choking when it happens make a huge difference in an outcome to the patient.

The dates are as follows Family and Friends course:
Domestic workers course: Thursday 18th of July 9am-1pm
Community class: Sunday 21st of July 9am-1pm
Please book via cpr@hatzolah.co.za