LifeVac Europe wins Care Home Supplier Of The Year Award

On the 28th of June 2019 LifeVac attended the Outstanding Care Awards at the Rivera Conference Centre in Torquay, as we made it through to the finalists after being nominated for this category.

We are very proud and honoured to have won the care home Supplier of The Year award which was presented to us by Richard Woods from Phoneta.



Matthew Banagan from LifeVac Europe commented “This is an amazing achievement which we are very proud of, the true people who deserve awards are all of the carers and care providers out there who care for the elderly and vulnerable every day of the week. We just try to help support and raise the quality of care within care homes and for care providers, if it wasn’t for them we would not be able to of saved so many lives in the care sector from choking to death. It’s amazing every time we receive feedback that LifeVac has saved another life, but to also receive an award for our hard work feels really good. It was a great evening and we met some really nice people, thank you to the hard work of the organizers who made it such an enjoyable evening”.


LifeVac has now worked with, equipped and trained over 2300 care and nursing homes across the UK and has saved many lives from choking to death when BLS fails, 18 of our lives saved have been in the care sector when BLS has failed or not been able to be performed due to age or disability. We start training Hallmark Care Homes and Runwood Homes this month. We have worked with small independent care homes to some of the largest care home providers such as Four Seasons Health Care.

Choking is one of the leading causes of accidental death in adults over the age of 65, the risk of choking on food is 7 times higher for people over the age of 65 years than it is for 1 to 4 year-old’s.

We are extremely proud to have such great relationships with the people we work with and the reputation we have built in the care sector.



LifeVac is the only non invasive airway clearance device and only airway clearance device with independent medical testing, peer reviewed publications and medical abstracts proving safety, effectiveness and lives saved. LifeVac is FDA registered, MHRA registered, Canadian Health Service registered and CE accredited. Leading the way for airway clearance device technology.

 “Saving lives while giving piece of mind”


Visit our shop to see how we can help you or visit our training section to see what training we can provide to suit your needs.

11 month old Amarannia saved from choking to death.

11 month old Amarannia was playing in her living room when she picked up a piece of plastic and put it in her mouth.

Amarannia’s mother suddenly heard a strange gurgling noise from the living room, and her worst fear had come true, Amarannia was choking. She ran over to her and could see something sharp in her throat. Amarannia’s mother tried to grab it as she could see the piece of plastic, but when Amarannia gasped the piece of plastic went further down and had now completely blocked her airway. Her mother tried back blows, but it was stuck, her older daughter called EMS right away.  Amarannia’s mother kept trying back blows, but Amarannia’s lips were turning blue, nothing was working.  She then remembered that the device she dug out from her closet for the family trip was still in her suitcase. She ran to grab it, and used it on Amarannia. It took two tries, then “out popped a plastic piece [from a thick plastic bag clasp].”  Amarannia’s lips turned pink, she started to cry, and soon after, was puzzled why her mother looked so distressed. The paramedics arrived, checked the baby, and deemed she was well, her breathing was normal, her lungs were clear and she was running around as if her mother’s worst nightmare hadn’t just happened.

Matthew Banagan from LifeVac Europe commented “Another life saved from LifeVac is great to hear, especially it being another little child. This is again proving noninvasive suction is crucial to have when BLS fails and hopefully will be included into first aid choking protocol guidelines in the future, to increase the current 70% effectiveness of BLS choking protocol to as close to a 100% effective as possible “.

LifeVac has saved lives from all around the world, in the UK LifeVac is very popular in the care sector as choking is a common occurrence due to Neurological diseases such a Multiple Sclerosis, Huntington’s Disease and physical disabilities. In the UK LifeVac has worked with over 2200 care and nursing homes across the UK from small independent care homes to some of the largest well respected care providers, providing training and easy integration into care providers care plans. LifeVac has saved 18 lives in the care sector alone.


Use code mult001 for 15% off to help safeguard the people you care for.

CCTV footage of LifeVac saving a life.

A 3 year old boy with Down Syndrome was eating a hot dog with his parent’s in an IKEA restaurant, The little boy began to choke on the hot dog. His parents carried out BLS protocol which failed. The little boy could not breath, speak or cough. The security team acted swiftly retrieving  LifeVac from the wall mounted box. On the first application LifeVac dislodged pieces of sausage and bread saving the 3 year old boys life.

This week we have received CCTV footage from IKEA, showing how the scary incident evolved and how LifeVac saved the little boys life.

At 1 minute 43 seconds, you can see the security guard run over to the restaurant counter shouting for the LifeVac wall mounted kit. You can then see the staff member come running out with the wall mounted LifeVac and then see a life being saved.


Matthew Banagan from LifeVac Europe commented “Its amazing to see LifeVac in action saving this little boys life! It’s wonderful every time we receive documented feedback that LifeVac saved another life, but to actually see it in action is amazing. This again shows how non invasive suction is such a crucial life saving necessity to have when BLS fails, we hope one day non invasive suction will be a part of BLS protocol to raise the current 70% effectiveness to as close to a 100% as possible.”

To learn more about the training LifeVac delivers visit our training section  or visit our shop to see how we can help you safeguard the people you care for.

LifeVac saves 1 year old Killian’s life from choking to death!

On the 7th of June 2019, LifeVac was once again informed of another life saved. In Lafayette, Indiana, this time it was a little extra special, 1 year of Killian was eating little carrots when he began to choke. Killian started to turn red/purple due to lack of oxygen, Killian received back blows due to his age which were unsuccessful. LifeVac was then used by his mother Morgan with the pediatric mask which dislodged the carrot on the first application, Killain began to breath again and LifeVac saved his life.

Killian was taken to hospital due to the ordeal so that he could have an examination, he was checked over by a doctor and returned home with no adverse effects from the choking ordeal.

Toni Hendricks (Killian’s Grandmother) commented “Thank you to our good Lord, the quick thinking of my daughter Morgan and to Arthur Lih, the inventor of LifeVac for saving my grandson Killian’s life!”.

LifeVac has now saved 31 lives from choking to death when standard BLS has failed, 2 of our lives saved have now been children, a 3 year old boy who has Down Syndrome in an IKEA restaurant who choked on a Hot Dog and now our youngest 1 year old Killian.

Eric Banagan, LifeVac Europe’s Managing Director commented “It is always great to hear when LifeVac saves another life, but it is always extra special when we hear it was the life of a little child. This once again shows noninvasive suction has a place in BLS protocol as now LifeVac has been used 31 times and saved those 31 lives when current BLS methods have failed or have not been able to be performed. Lives saved like Killain’s is why LifeVac is equipped into schools all around the world, to protect our future generation, son’s, daughters, brothers, sisters and grandchildren.”


For information about LifeVac please visit our about us section or visit our Shop to see how we can help you protect the ones you love and care for.


LifeVac’s 30th life saved!

On the 5th of June 2019 LifeVac Europe was informed of another life saved in the UK care sector.

An elderly female resident from Aspen Lodge Care Home was enjoying her lunch when she began to choke on potato. Carers acted quickly administering BLS protocol which unfortunately failed and the resident started to become unconscious. One of the carers ran and grabbed LifeVac which is equipped in all of the care providers homes across the UK. The carer then applied LifeVac which dislodged the potato saving the female residents life.


Matt Banagan from LifeVac Europe commented “This is amazing news once again, knowing that LifeVac is reducing the high death rate due to choking in the care sector. This is LifeVac’s 30th life saved and 20th in the care sector, we are working hard to get non invasive suction into BLS and continue to save lives when abdominal thrusts and back blows fail. Choking is one of the leading causes of accidental deaths in adults over the age of 65, after training so many care homes we have found that a resident choking is a carers worst fear.”


LifeVac has worked with and equipped over 2000 care and nursing homes across the UK. LifeVac replaces used devices free of charge to help care homes with cost, offers free video training links, face to face training and train the trainer training. LifeVac also understands the tight budgets surrounding the care sector in the UK so offers 3 different variations of LifeVac from £59.95 to £84.95.

LifeVac Public Statement Clarification

In relation to the controversy raised by the statement published. LifeVac Europe Limited, would like to excuse itself for what has clearly been an error in the terminology used in its communication.

We recognize the misuse of the term “Social Media troll”, which did not refer to the health professionals who have given us their contributions, to whom we ratify our most sincere apologies.


It is not the intention of Life Vac Europe to question the opinions of health professionals. On the contrary, we want to emphasize that from LifeVac Europe Ltd., not only do we value all the opinions of the medical and the emergency sector, but we also collaborate closely with this field. We reiterate our offer to collect assessments and / or experiences on the use of LifeVac airway clearance device and are always open to medical professionals who would like to under take any testing/trials to further more prove the efficacy of LifeVac in addition to the medical publications, lives saved and independent medical studies that already support LifeVac.


LifeVac is a non-invasive suction device intended to be used after the protocol of the European Resuscitation Guidelines for OVACE cases when this protocol has not been successful. The purpose of LifeVac is not to replace the established guidelines, but to offer an additional alternative when the protocol has not been effective at relieving the obstruction. In this scenario, LifeVac has been used successfully with documented cases, and no contraindication has been described in the patients with whom it has been used.



LifeVac Europe Limited..

LifeVac Public Statement

LifeVac Public Statement:


It has been bought to our attention recent articles/statements on social media/internet instigated by bloggers and social media trolls. Sadly, without contacting us directly to start a dialog or even ask for a sample of LifeVac to carry out their own testing/evaluation some resuscitation councils, healthcare professionals and journalists have taken notice of these slanderous bloggers/trolls who have no medical background, who have in turn released their own statements on suction devices. Every negative article on LifeVac or airway clearance devices have been instigated by social media trolls/bloggers who have no medical background.

These articles are slanderous and do not reflect the evidence behind LifeVac or the LifeVac company.

The medical evidence behind LifeVac is available to anyone who has access to the internet or anyone who would like to contact us directly. To make things easier for the people who will read this, we will leave links to evidence within this statement.

When LifeVac first started out 5 years ago with our concept we contacted medical professionals and some resuscitation councils for guidance on the best route to take to show how effective noninvasive suction could be if implemented into BLS protocol. After researching statistics on choking, reviewing peer reviewed publications on the effectiveness of the abdominal thrusts (Heimlich Maneuver), back blows and the many news articles where people have died when BLS has failed, we pointed out that choking protocol is only 70% effective when performed by a healthcare professional in a perfect situation. Unfortunately, no resuscitation council or healthcare professional that we contacted took an interest in this concept to save lives or accepted our invitation to meet for guidance. No resuscitation council will promote or endorse a medical device, just because LifeVac does not have the support from certain resuscitation councils and medical professionals who have never seen a LifeVac device in person or carried out their own unbiased testing, does not mean LifeVac is not to be used or does not work.

Luckily for LifeVac we have had doctors and medical professionals who take an interest in what we are trying to achieve and carried out their own studies.

One of the main questions/statements that seems to arise is that there is “no clinical trials behind these devices”, but when the question is asked “what trials would you like to see as you cannot carry out testing on lives humans due to human rights and ethics in today’s day and age?”. No one seems to have the answer, even the people who are asking this question.

LifeVac is the only noninvasive suction device and only suction device with independent medical testing, peer reviewed publications and abstracts proving safety and effectiveness. Suction has been around for many years in ALS and ILS protocols to clear a foreign body airway obstruction. All LifeVac have done is made a noninvasive suction device that can be used by lay people when BLS has failed, in the hope that one day resuscitation councils will take notice of the 70% effectiveness of what they teach and the 1000’s of deaths each year that occur when BLS fails or cannot be performed due to age, pregnancy and disability. For people who have these circumstances the 70% effectiveness reduces drastically as abdominal thrusts or back blows may not be able to be performed.

LifeVac has saved many lives around the world from choking to death when BLS has failed, these lives have been saved by Emergency Services, Nurses, Support workers and lay people. All lives saved have been documented on a clinical file that have been verified by authorities.

LifeVac has been implemented into Emergency Services, Police Departments, Fire Departments, Care Establishments, Hospitals, Restaurants and Schools around the world.

LifeVac is not a novelty or a gimmick, the LifeVac medical device is safe to use and effective. We will not stop saving lives and will not give up pursuing our goal of getting noninvasive suction implemented into BLS choking protocol to raise the current 70% effectiveness to as close to a 100% effective as possible.

LifeVac is FDA registered, MHRA registered as a class 1 medical device and CE accredited.

LifeVac are always open for further independent testing or constructive suggestions, if you would like to suggest anything or have constructive guidance please feel free to contact us.


Kindest Regards


LifeVac Europe


LifeVac Medical Evidence:

Science Direct – Pressure Generated by LifeVac vs current methods

Published independent cadaver study – AJEM

International Journal Of Clinical Skills – 10 lives saved

LifeVac Adolescent Study – Annals of Emergency Medicine

American Journal Of Gastroenterology – LifeVac

For outbound pressure that proves no air can be forced through  LifeVac’s interchangeable sized masks please contact us directly for this file.

Effectiveness of current BLS:

David Montoya Report – Management of the Choking Victim

Langhelle 2000 chest compression’s vs Heimlich Maneuver

Thorax – BMJ

Whilst there is limited research on the abdominal thrusts and even less on back blows, we will never go against BLS protocol, LifeVac is to be used when BLS fails and this is where LifeVac has saved lives.

Arthur Lih the inventor of LifeVac shares his story

We are extremely proud to have created LifeVac with Arthur who is a close family friend as well as a part of our inspiration.

Since LifeVacs invention and the forming of LifeVac USA and LifeVac Europe, there is now LifeVac Spain, LifeVac Canada, LifeVac Southeast Europe, LifeVac South Africa, LifeVac Polska and LifeVac Japan. All with one goal to save lives and become a part of standard choking protocol to raise the current 70% effectiveness of BLS choking protocol to as close to a 100% effective as possible.

For people who are wheelchair users this 70% effectiveness is less than half as abdominal thrusts may not be able to be performed.

LifeVac has saved many lives around the world, the most recent being in a care home in Preston, United Kingdom and Lifevac’s first life saved in Australia.

Suction has been around for many years in ALS  protocol, but due to this type of suction being invasive (having tubes) there are risks such as pushing the obstruction further back, tearing of the Lingual Frenulum making the tongue become an additional obstruction and tubes becoming blocked rendering the equipment useless. So this type of suction is restricted to ALS trained professionals that can counteract these complications.

This why LifeVac was invented, so that non-invasive suction can be used by anyone. LifeVac remains the ONLY airway clearance device with independent medical testing and peer reviewed medical publications proving safety, effectiveness and lives saved.


Entrepreneur invents life saving device – Yahoo News


Choking in the news, Dysphagia and invasive suction vs non-invasive suction.

This past week, we have read an alarming amount of news articles relating to choking deaths in the care sector and outside of the care sector. In some of these tragic incidences abdominal thrusts and back blows failed and others no help was given, which is very disturbing.

Here is a most recent news article:

Choking is a “silent killer” so to speak, it can happen to anyone. Eating and drinking is something we do 500–700 times a day without thinking about it. We trust that food, drink, saliva and medicine will pass through the mouth, throat and oesophagus, arriving safely at the stomach. But there are occasions where it isn’t as easy as it sounds.


This problem, known medically as ‘dysphagia’ (pronounced ‘dis-fay-ja’), affects people of all ages however — babies and children at one end of life’s continuum and the elderly at the other end are most often affected.

Conditions such as premature birth, cerebral palsy, autism, brain injury, cancer to the mouth or throat, stroke, dementia, Parkinson’s disease and other conditions are associated with swallowing problems which can lead to choking on what some of use feel are the simplest of things. We are well aware of choking risks for small children; however, it is less well known that the risk of choking on food is 7 times higher for people over the age of 65 years than it is for 1 to 4 year-olds. This is why choking is one of the leading causes of accidental death in adults over the age of 65. Dysphagia affects about 25–55% of babies born prematurely, 60% of children with a developmental disability, around 50% of stroke survivors and 84% of people with dementia.

Invasive suction (enters oral cavity such as a tube) has been around for many years in ALS (Advanced Life Support) but due to complications is restricted to ALS only trained professionals so that they can counteract these issues.

These complications can make the situation worse, these complications include:

  1. Pushing the tongue back in a panic situation causing bleeding and the tongue to become an additional obstruction.
  2. Pushing the obstruction further back.
  3. Activating gag reflex which will cause aspiration and vomit to enter the lungs.
  4. Ripping the lingual frenulum causing swelling of the tongue and bleeding.
  5. Tubes become blocked which renders the equipment useless if only part of the obstruction has been removed.

Due to these complications we invented LifeVac- a non invasive airway clearance device. We have now worked with and equipped over 1590 care and nursing homes across the UK from independent care homes to some of the largest care home providers and saved many lives when standard methods have failed.

We have had some amazing meetings, carried out quite a few demonstrations and trained 3 new care groups these past 3 weeks to help safeguard elderly/vulnerable people who are at risk of choking. LifeVac remains the only non invasive airway clearance device and only airway clearance device with interchangeable sized masks to suit the casualties facial features, peer reviewed publications, independent medical testing and peer reviewed abstracts proving safety, effectiveness and lives saved.

Our New Translucent LifeVac quick demo! Also invasive suction vs non invasive suction.

We have now introduced our new translucent LifeVac’s which have replaced our yellow LifeVac’s.

We decided to do this for a number of reasons, but two of the main ones were we feel it makes LifeVac more physically appeasing and you can also now easily identify when the obstruction enters the interchangeable sized masks and bellows.

Invasive suction (enters oral cavity such as a tube) has been around for many years in ALS (Advanced Life Support) but due to complications is restricted to ALS only trained professionals.

These complications include:

1) Pushing the tongue back in a panic situation causing bleeding and the tongue to become an additional obstruction.
2) Pushing the obstruction further back.
3) Activating gag reflex which will cause aspiration and vomit to enter the lungs.
4) Ripping the lingual frenulum causing swelling of the tongue and bleeding.
5) Tubes become blocked which renders the equipment useless if only part of the obstruction has been removed.

Due to these complications we invented LifeVac- a non invasive airway clearance device. LifeVac remains the only non invasive airway clearance device and ONLY airway clearance device with peer reviewed publications, peer reviewed abstracts and independent medical testing proving safety, effectiveness and lives saved.

LifeVac has saved over 25 lives from choking to death around the world and 16 of these have been in the care sector.


LifeVac saves it’s 25th life!!!

LifeVac Europe have been informed, on the 6th of January 2019  an 86 year old gentleman with Dementia started choking on meat whilst eating his meal in Thessaloniki, Greece. BLS was performed on the male to dislodge the full airway obstruction which failed. EKAB Emergency Services were then called to the scene as the gentleman started to become unconscious. LifeVac was used by EKAB paramedics to dislodge a large chunk of meat within seconds. The gentleman started to breath again but felt uncomfortable and was wheezing. He was then taken to Hospital by ambulance where it was determined he had additional food stuck in his lower airway. The clinical team used LifeVac again where it dislodged another chunk of meat (pictured below) from his lower airway. The elderly gentleman made a full recovery with no adverse effects.


Matthew from LifeVac Europe commented “This is amazing news and a great start to 2019! LifeVac saved 12 lives last year and we aim to save at least double those lives this year! We want to thank EKAB Emergency Services, who equipped LifeVac last year  for  their hard work and quick response. This is the 3rd life EKAB have saved since equipping LifeVac. This is also LifeVac’s 25th life saved when standard BLS has failed, each life LifeVac saves is showing more and more the need of noninvasive suction to be implemented into BLS choking protocol.”


For any information or demonstration please click “contact us” on our website or email and one of our team will be happy to help.



LifeVac saves it’s 24th life!!

On the 7th of December we were informed of our device saving it’s 24th life.

LifeVac Europe donated a number of LifeVac units to the Albanian Resuscitation Council so that they could review our medical device and use if needed.  On the 7th of December LifeVac was used by a member of the Albanian Resuscitation Council, Emanuel Rrengo (pictured below holding a LifeVac) to save a 69 year old gentleman’s life who choked on a piece of pie. The abdominal thrusts we carried out first which failed, Emanuel then used LifeVac on the conscious man and dislodged the food bolus saving the gentleman’s life.


Matthew from LifeVac Europe commented “This more great news of another life saved by LifeVac, this time by a respected resuscitation council that believe in change. We hope other resuscitation councils who promote continuous improvement will start to take more notice and trial LifeVac so that non invasive suction can be implemented into BLS choking protocol in 2020. This will raise the current 70% effectiveness of BLS choking protocol to as close to 100% effective as possible, saving thousands of lives each year. We welcome any additional independent studies or trials to compliment the ones that have already been published”.

LifeVac has now saved lives in the USA, UK, Spain, Greece, Canada and Albania when BLS has failed.

LifeVac Featured on The Doctors TV show.

On the 7th of December LifeVac was featured on the Doctors Show with an interview from Angela Powell, who talks about her experience of saving her elderly mother in-laws life by using LifeVac.

The Doctors Show are specialists from across health and wellness fields that join ER physician Dr. Travis Stork, Dr. Andrew Ordon, OB/GYN Dr. Nita Landry and dermatologist Dr. Sonia Batra who delve into real-life stories and conduct interviews as well as provide sought-after answers, interventions, tips and care.

Angela Powell purchased LifeVac after seeing viral videos circulating social media. During a family meal Angela’s elderly mother in-law started choking on a piece of meat. Leaving the table quickly so not to “cause a scene”, she did not return. After a few minutes her husband went to look for her, once found he released that she was choking. Her husband carried out the abdominal thrusts with no success, he then yelled for Angela to grab LifeVac. Upon Angela’s return her mother in-law was laying down still conscious, Angela placed the LifeVac over her mother in-laws mouth and nose. With one push and a quick pull LifeVac dislodged the meat saving Angela’s mother in-laws life.

EKAB Ambulance Service equip LifeVac.

EKAB Ambulance Service who previously already saved lives from choking to death using LifeVac, have taken the step to equip LifeVac’s in all of their ambulances and first response vehicles across their service.

On the 15th of November, EKAB received training by Christos Nikolaides from LifeVac South East Europe. EKAB had previously trialled LifeVac in two of their response vehicles which saved two lives from choking to death very quickly. A lady who choked on a large garlic clove and an elderly gentleman in a care facility who choked on chicken and bread.

Matthew from LifeVac Europe Limited commented “This is fantastic news! Ambulance services cannot always attend in a timely manner due to time restrictions, but when they arrive time is even more critical due to the casualty being starved of oxygen for a lengthy period of time. Equipping LifeVac has already proven to this ambulance service to be the quickest and most effective way of dislodging an obstruction of the airway when BLS has failed. Knowing more lives will be saved from choking to death by EKAB is amazing”.

LifeVac Saves It’s First Child!!

LifeVac has saved 23 lives from choking to death when standard BLS protocol has failed. These lives have been in the age rage of 15 years old all the way up to 91 years old. This is due to LifeVac being predominantly in the care sector. But today marked a new mile stone for LifeVac as we saved our first child.

A 3 year old boy with Down Syndrome was eating a hotdog in an IKEA cafeteria with his mother and father. The little boy began to choke, BLS protocol was carried out which failed. The little boy could not breath, speak or cough, the security team acted swiftly retrieving  LifeVac from the wall mounted box. On the first application LifeVac dislodged pieces of sausage and bread saving the 3 year old boys life.

“We are thankful for this medical device miracle” – Group Safety & Security Manager

ABC7 NEWS: Lifevac developed to stop choking

Lifevac featured on ABC7 News

Watch Video Here:

FARMINGDALE, NY — “She’s the love of my life. Jackie.”

Arthur Lih would do anything for his daughter. So when he heard of an 8-year-old child her age, choking to death on a grape, he couldn’t help but think what if the same thing happened to his daughter.

“People said there’s nothing you can do. I said, ‘I’m not going to take that’. I’m not going to have my little girl dead in front of me — watch her die and say, ‘there’s nothing I can do’.”

Lih had an epiphany. “I said plumbers unclog pipes so I went to the hardware store and said, ‘I’ll walk the plumbing aisle’.”

And thus was born LifeVac.

“You put the mask over his face, good firm seal, give it a pull and we’ve just saved his life.”

Lih said he and a small group of volunteers on Long Island are on a mission to save lives, they say, by getting LifeVac into as many people’s hands as possible. They’ve already sold hundreds of them.

“The process is long and daunting. I prayed for a lot of strength to go through it. You have engineering, you have prototype, you have medical, you have FDA, insurance, we’ve been through all that.”

They may be one step closer to accomplishing their goal. Lih said the product is going through one last independent test and then they hope to present the product to the American Red Cross for use in schools and restaurants.

Arthur Lih to deliver keynote presentation on new hope and relief for Multiple Sclerosis patients

Farmingdale, NY

Arthur Lih, founder of LifeVac will deliver a presentation on how LifeVac has impacted the neurological community and offers new hope for patients afflicted with conditions that create difficulty swallowing and increase the risk of choking.

“I am honored to have been asked to participate in this important event and I am humbled to see how LifeVac offers patients and their caregiver’s peace of mind and comfort” said Mr. Lih, who is also the company’s president.

The event takes place on August 7th, 2014 6:00pm at Healthfit, Powered by Sarasota Memorial Hospital. It is being hosted by Friends of Hope.

About LifeVac- LifeVac is the revolutionary new product designed to remove an object from an obstructed airway. It is a non-powered, single patient, portable suction apparatus. LifeVac has recently been featured on the Stu’s Views & MS News Blog, and on Doctor Radio on Sirius XM Radio.

For a transcript of the event please submit a request on our contact page.

Posted in MS, Neurological Community, Press Release | Tagged MS, Multiple sclerosis, new hope, presentation, Press Release, relief

A New Innovation to Save Lives and Provide Hope for MSers with Dysphagia

Both my mother and father live with MS in Sarasota, FL.  My mother lives with primary progressive MSand my father was initially diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS which has now progressed to secondary progressive MS .  Despite the variances in their disease-related impairment and progression, they both share difficulties with swallowing, even early on post-diagnosis.  My mom has experienced several episodes of choking and several months ago choked on a donut, turned blue, and fell unconscious.  Despite many efforts, the several caregivers present at the time could not effectively perform the Heimlich maneuver.  It took a large 6’4 gentleman from EMS to perform the Heimlich six times before the food was slowly dislodged.  She was approximately 30 seconds away from dying.  Luckily, she is doing well now, however based on her history of swallowing and choking issues coupled with the natural pulmonary decline in some MS patients, I am constantly faced with the anxiety that she will choke again, and regardless of how well the Heimlich is performed, will not survive.  I share this story with you because I know that at various stages of MS, including early on in the course of the disease, dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), pulmonary dysfunction and muscle weakness arise.  When these impairments occur early on most are unaware that there is a problem.

Dysphagia may cause the individual to cough after drinking liquids, or choke when eating certain foods, especially those with a crumbly texture.  There is an imaging procedure called a modified barium swallow (videofluoroscopy) that is used to evaluate a person’s ability to swallow liquids of various thickness and solids.  Speech therapists perform a thorough evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of dysphagia with strategies and techniques designed to achieve better eating and swallowing. There are three main swallowing strategies they try to implement: 1) Postural Changes  2) Swallow Maneuvers and 3) Behavioral Strategies.  The speech therapist may adjust posture while eating through activities such as with chin tuck, head turn to weak side, head tilt to stronger side, head back, and chin tuck with head turn.  They will also incorporate swallowing maneuvers such as the Mendelsohn Maneuver, Effortful Swallow, Supraglottic Swallow, and Super Supraglottic Swallow.  There are also behavioral strategies that allow the individual to incorporate certain techniques while eating particular foods.  These behaviors include Liquid Wash which alternates bites of solids with sips of liquids.  The Larger Bolus Strategy is used to enhance the sensory input in order to reduce the delay triggering the pharyngeal swallow.  For those with significant residue of food in mouth after trying to swallow, the Swallow/Bolus has the individual swallow 2-3 times with each bite/sip.  These types of compensatory management techniques are helpful, yet obviously they do not slow or prevent the progression or course of the swallowing incompetency.

Whether you live with MS or are a caregiver for someone living with it you can empathize with the array of swallowing challenges and the subsequent psychological toll that it creates for all.  Unfortunately, if the swallowing challenges turn into a choking episode there is a chance the individual may aspirate, or inhale fluid or solids into the upper respiratory tract, resulting in aspiration pneumonia.  This condition can be serious, requiring treatment with antibiotics, or could even be fatal.  Choking on food without aspirating can be just as deadly whether the Heimlich is performed correctly or not.  Think back to my mother’s recent choking episode. The natural question is….Why so many unsuccessful Heimlich attempts and why did the food barely dislodge?  Pulmonary compromise may be one of the main culprits.  MSers rarely complain of pulmonary dysfunction, however upon pulmonary testing, dysfunction is commonly found during the mild phase of the disease.  Muscle weakness in the diaphragm, changes in muscle tone, motor incoordination, and postural abnormalities all contribute to the reduced pulmonary function and essentially contributing to an ineffective Heimlich.  If the Heimlich is unsuccessful the outcome is grim.

These ultimate, final outcomes and the potential for an unsuccessful Heimlich due to muscle weakness and pulmonary decline are exactly why I am so excited to learn about an apparatus that is specifically designed to save someone from choking.  It’s called LifeVac.

The inventor/founder, Arthur Lih, created this product after hearing a story about the death of an 8 year-old boy after he had choked on a grape.  He has professed, “How in this world of tremendous widespread innovation and achievement are we not able to save a child from dying on a grape!”   It has become his mission to save as many lives, from this senseless type of death, as possible.

The LifeVac is a non-powered single patient portable suction apparatus developed for resuscitating a choking victim when standard ACLS protocol has been followed without success.  The negative pressure generated by the force of the suction is 3 times greater than the highest recorded choke pressure.

My anxiety level, along with that of my parents’ caregivers, about my parents’ risk of choking has been drastically reduced just since finding out about this apparatus.  I can’t begin to express how critically important LifeVac will be not just for the MS population globally but for the relief of the psychological toll their dysphagia has on their family and caregivers.  There is now hope.

Jane-Mascola-PicJane Mascola Bio

Jane Mascola is a graduate of Southern Methodist University (Dallas, TX) with a full-merit psychology Ph.D. scholarship to Tulane University (New Orleans, LA).  She is currently employed as a pharmaceutical healthcare professional in Southwest Florida and resides in Venice, FL.  She has a keen passion for learning as much as possible about MS and the subsequent impact the disease has on their families and caregivers.  Both her mother and father live with MS in Florida and were under her direct care for approximately four years.  She has a particular interest in helping other MSers and caregivers cope with MS-related swallowing and choking issues.  Jane is married with a 2 year-old daughter.