LifeVac saves another life in the UK care sector!

On the 18th of November, LifeVac Europe was informed once again it had been used to save another life.

This time to save a residents life in a Future Care Group home in Chichester. It was only in October that Future Care Group partnered with LifeVac and we completed regional training for their group roll out.  Future Care Group provides Nursing Care, Residential Care, Respite Care, Convalescent and post-operative care, Palliative and terminal care.

Sue Roberts, Group Head of Quality and Compliance from The Future Care Group commented: “Choking is one of the leading causes of accidental death in the UK and across the world and sadly a common occurrence within the care home setting. We worked with the LifeVac team to put this simple to use device in all our homes and within one month of introducing it have successfully used it to support one of our residents. It can be a very frightening situation when someone starts to choke but the staff in the homes now have additional confidence that when all other protocols have failed to clear the airway they have LifeVac to help them.”


Matthew Banagan from LifeVac Europe commented: “This is amazing news and again shows the need for such a device within the care sector. We are extremely proud to have partnered with Future Care Group and 3200 other care and nursing homes across the UK. LifeVac remains the only non invasive airway clearance device and only airway clearance device with independent medical testing, peer reviewed medical publications, peer reviewed medical abstracts proving safety, effectiveness and lives saved”.

3 year old boy saved by LifeVac!

On November 14th,  LifeVac was used again to save the life of a 3-year-old boy named Zeppelin who was choking on fruit loops (cereal).

Zeppelin was on the kitchen floor, not able to cough or make a sound. He was unresponsive when his mother spoke to him. His airway was completely blocked and was turning blue. His mother a trained professional (EMT), performed the abdominal thrusts on him twice and EMS were called.  She quickly laid her son on the floor utilizing the LifeVac as choking rescue procedures were unsuccessful. On the first pull, LifeVac removed the food bolus from Zeppelins airway, his breathing was restored saving his life.

Zeppelin was taken to hospital following the ordeal where he was examined thoroughly and an x-ray taken. “This product is literally a life saver”, said his mother, Sierra.


Matthew Banagan from LifeVac Europe commented: “Another life saved by a fast acting mother and LifeVac, these past 2 months we have saved many lives and every one is fantastic to read. This is what keeps us going and keeps us pushing very hard to get non invasive suction into BLS protocol, so thousands of lives can be saved every year when BLS fails”.





For the use on adults only in the UK and Ireland until further notice.

LifeVac saves 90 year old lady from choking to death!

We have been informed LifeVac was used again by EKAB Ambulance Service in Greece to save another life.

A 90 year old lady with Alzheimer’s Disease was eating dinner with her daughter when she began to choke on her food (chopped up burger). As soon as her daughter realised her mother was choking she administered abdominal thrusts and back blows which were unsuccessful at dislodging the food stuck in her airway.

The elderly lady became unconscious and her daughter called EMS right away.

EKAB arrived on the scene and assessed the situation, the paramedic took the LifeVac device out of his kit bag and applied the LifeVac which dislodged a large chunk of the food bolus. The lady regained consciousness and was transported to hospital. As they arrived at the hospital her oxygen saturation began to drop, the paramedic quickly realised there was still part of the obstruction in her airway. Using LifeVac again the last remaining part of the food bolus was dislodged.

The 90 year old lady was examined at the hospital and discharged the same day.

Matthew Banagan from LifeVac Europe commented: “This is our 5th life saved in Greece and great to hear! LifeVac donated 50 LifeVac EMS kits to EKAB Emergency Services quite some to ago to help battle choking deaths in Greece, to know they have saved another life from choking to death is amazing!”

LifeVac saves it’s youngest life, 3 week old Audrey.

On the 15th of November LifeVac was informed once again of saving another life.

This time it is very special, our youngest life to date, a 3 week old girl named Audrey Johnson.

Audrey was unable to breath due to a mix of thick mucus and gripe water in her airway. Audrey started to turn blue due to lack of oxygen, her mother Brittany while on the phone to EMS started to work quickly carrying out newborn BLS protocol which was not working to clear Audrey’s airway.

Audrey’s father Jerad grabbed LifeVac from his cabinet and used it to clear the thick mucus from his daughters airway, restoring her breathing and saving her life.


Eric from LifeVac Europe commented:  “This is fantastic news! Our youngest life saved, knowing Audrey has her whole life ahead of her thanks to her quick thinking parents and LifeVac is the best feeling. This is LifeVac’s 9th child saved from choking to death and reiterates the need for non invasive suction to be implemented into BLS protocol which we are working very hard to achieve.”





For the use on adults only in the UK and Ireland until further notice.


Cornwall hospital failings as patient choked on his own vomit

Failures could have “caused or contributed” to the death of a student who choked on his own vomit at Bodmin Hospital.

That was the conclusion of the jury at an inquest into the death of 28-year-old Pawel Bielec, from St Ives.

The four-day hearing was told that Pawel had been allowed unsupervised leave from Fettle House psychiatric rehabilitation unit at Bodmin Hospital on July 1, 2016. He had returned drunk and was later found unresponsive after choking on his vomit.

He died despite efforts to resuscitate him.

Opening the inquest on Monday (November 4), senior coroner for Cornwall Andrew Cox said the main issues that would be explored during the proceedings were the decision to extend Pawel’s unsupervised leave from 15 minutes to two hours, the policy for dealing with drunk patients and whether or not staff absences were a factor in his death.

The inquest at Truro’s Health and Wellbeing Centre heard that Pawel, a music student who arrived in England from Poland aged five, had suffered from alcohol and drug-related difficulties for some time, culminating in a suicide attempt when he jumped off a bridge.

Pawel, who was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome and also suffered from psychosis and anxiety, was sectioned and detained at Fettle House.

Staff said that the clinical aim was for Pawel to become more independent. As a result he had enrolled on a music course, attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and was allowed to go home for up to three days at a time.

He was also allowed periods of unescorted leave.

When he had left the hospital on previous occasions on June 23, 24 and 29 Pawel had returned in an intoxicated state.

When Pawel returned late on July 1 he was drinking from a small bottle of vodka as well Special Brew. He became aggressive with staff when they tried to remove the alcohol and he “downed” the bottle of vodka in front of them.

The jury heard that a breathalyser could not be used to ascertain Pawel’s alcohol level as it hadn’t been calibrated.

Nursing and healthcare staff decided to instigate Level 2 observations on Pawel every 15 minutes rather than Level 3, which would mean a member of staff alongside him at all times. They agreed that their continuous presence would rile him and make him unsettled.

He fell asleep at 5.30pm and healthcare assistant Richard Bolt ensured his airway was clear and he was in the recovery position. At 7.15pm Pawel was found to have choked on his vomit. He died despite attempts to resuscitate him.

Consultant psychiatrist Leyland Sheppard, who was called as an independent witness, agreed that allowing leave was a standard part of the rehab process, but he questioned whether the other incidents of Pawel returning drunk after periods of unsupervised leave should have “pressed the pause button” on further leave.

He agreed that he did not have the same insight into Pawel’s treatment as those clinicians who were involved in his day-to-day care.

Cecile McDermott, the consultant psychiatrist overseeing Pawel’s care, had told the inquest that although there was an obvious risk involved with unescorted leave, stopping it could lead to problems in other areas.

Consultant psychologist Kim Bowen-Jones agreed and stressed that he didn’t respond well when privileges were taken away.

She said: “I felt that to rescind leave is a big decision to make and has its advantages and a lot of disadvantages.”

Pawel had been open about his drink and drug use and had been “mortified” about previous incidents, including using crack cocaine. The periods of leave were seen as a positive risk to aid his rehabilitation.

Dr Sheppard said that continued authorisation of unsupervised leave “probably contributed” to Pawel’s death, as did a lack of physical monitoring, including checking his pulse and respiratory rate after he want to sleep on the evening he died.

Senior coroner Andrew Cox asked the jury: “Given reported incidents of Pawel consuming alcohol on June 23, 24 and 29, 2016, was it appropriate for him to have been allowed leave on July 1, 2016?”

The jury came to the conclusion that yes, the two-hour unescorted leave was appropriate as Pawel presented as being fit to go out.

They were also asked if “the immediate and then on-going action taken in response to Pawel’s alcohol consumption was appropriate in the circumstances”.

The jury said it was not appropriate.

Mr Cox asked the jurors if there were “any errors, failures and/or omssions in this regard that caused or contributed to Pawel’s death?”

They said there were.

The jury stated they were agreed the immediate action was appropriate but when Pawel calmed down “the staff could have reviewed their level 2 observation aided by a functioning breathalyser”.

They added: “We are agreed the adoption of a dynamic risk assessment model would have allowed staff to move to a Level 3 or 4 observation strategy.”

Pawel’s mother Beat Dolan told the inquest: “I feel he should not have been allowed so much unescorted leave due to his mental health state and the fact his medication had just been changed.

“Meetings with experts were infrequent and he was using alcohol to self-medicate. I was told that on the last occasion he returned drunk he was being monitored but later got a phone call to say he was dead. I began screaming and desperately wanted to see him and hold him in my arms.

“I’m concerned staff did not put him on a higher level of monitoring because of his mental state. They should have been more aware he was unwell and anxious while waiting for the new medication to take effect. The decision to extend his leave does not make sense to me when he was being given new medication and had been regularly drinking.”

Paying a personal tribute to him, Ms Dolan added: “My son was very loved and very special to me. I’ve always been there for him. He was never drunk or on drugs when he came home at weekends.

“It was a very distressing time but I treasure every minute I spent with him. I wish I took him home a long time ago. Pawel was an intelligent young man who was hoping with the right support he could have followed his dreams into music.

“Pawel was a very sensitive and vulnerable person. Undiagnosed Asperger’s led him onto a path of self-destruction. I’m heartbroken he slipped through the system and failed by people who were meant to help him.”

Source: Cornwall Live

Supplier Focus – Care Home Professional – The care sector is choking and LifeVac is changing that.

CHAP Tabby, Val Sedgewick wife of gentleman saved by LifeVac in Four Seasons Health Care home and staff nurse, Natalie.

Choking in the care sector is often referred to as the ‘silent killer’ and a carer’s worst fear. Having trained hundreds of nurses and carers around the UK this is the one thing we are always told during every training session.

To understand why, we must understand the risks around choking in the care sector and why the elderly are a vulnerable community at such high risk. Conditions such as 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 us 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 seven times higher for people over the age of 65 years than it is for 1 to 4-year-olds. Dysphagia affects around 50% of stroke survivors and 84% of people with dementia. Other factors contribute to choking deaths in the care sector such as lack of saliva due to medications being taken and disabilities where someone may rely on a wheelchair for daily activities.

If someone cannot control all of their body to move around freely and they are restricted to a wheelchair, if they choked, they may not be able to receive abdominal thrusts and/or back blows. A common misconception within some care groups is that SALT care/ diet plans will stop someone you are caring for from choking altogether.

This isn’t the case, as many care homes have experienced. Care/diet plans put in place by SALT are a must, but they are to reduce the risk of someone choking and so that the person can enjoy the amazing food made by your chefs to the best of their abilities. When someone starts to choke basic life support protocol is always carried out as it should be but what happens when that doesn’t work or cannot be performed due to frailty or disability?

An example of something like this happening was reported recently in a root cause analysis conducted by Barchester Healthcare where hospital director Sally Mowforth found staff members were “relentless” in trying to save a resident’s life and that a “fantastic” care plan was in place for him. What many people do not know is that choking protocol is only 70% effective when performed correctly in a ‘perfect’ situation.

This percentage drops drastically to around 40% if the abdominal thrusts cannot be performed due to frailty, obesity or disability. This is where LifeVac can help and is saving lives when all else fails. LifeVac Europe, along with our distributors in the care sector, has had the privilege of working with and equipping over 2,900 care and nursing homes across the UK, from small independent care homes to some of the largest care providers, such as HC-One and Four Seasons Health Care.

LifeVac has saved many lives around the world and many lives in the care sector. It is a non-invasive portable airway clearance device with a patented one-way valve which means, when applied, no air can be forced through interchangeable sized masks, which are clearly indicated by colour coded rings as it is impossible to say ‘one size will fit all’.

In a care setting, 99% of the time, however, a casualty will require either a large adult mask or a medium adult mask. Being non invasive means there is no risk of pushing the obstruction further back or of oral damage and tubes cannot become blocked rendering the equipment useless if only part of the obstruction has been dislodged.

We can proudly say LifeVac is the only airway clearance device with independent medical testing, peer reviewed medical publications and medical abstracts proving safety, effectiveness and lives saved. LifeVac starts from £59.95 and when one of our devices is used to save another life, we replace them free of charge. We also offer free training videos, face to face training and train the trainer training.

Our latest life saved was at a CareChoice Ireland care home which had installed LifeVac throughout their group earlier this year. We also saved our first child in the UK, Oscar Temperton, an 11 month-old who just happens to be the son of Mark Temperton who works for Priory Group as their regulatory inspector and a specialist advisor for the CQC.


Here are just some of the amazing feedback LifeVac Europe has received from within the care sector:

“The team at LifeVac presented their thorough knowledge regarding choking risks within the residential care sector and professionally demonstrated the capability and benefits of their invention to deal with such risks. In doing so, they instilled confidence within our leadership team and it was an easy decision to become a partner. LifeVac is invaluable, lifesaving technology and we feel that it is essential to support our staff at Runwood Homes with such crucial lifesaving equipment. LifeVac will protect all of our residents, especially those who are living with a neurological condition, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s, and with an increased choking risk.” – Gavin O’Hare-Connolly, Chief Operating Officer of Runwood Homes.


“Hallmark Care Homes are very pleased to work with LifeVac who have supplied LifeVac kits to all of our homes in England and Wales. This gives us piece of mind that in the event of a choking incident we have all the correct equipment within our homes. LifeVac is an incredibly easy to use product and the team at LifeVac have provided our care and nursing teams with some great training on how to use the equipment.” – Aneurin Brown​, Regional Manager for England, Hallmark Care Homes.


“We have incorporated Lifevac into our Homes for a couple of years now and ensured we give instruction on its use in our First Aid training. We have recognised the increased risk of choking in some of our residents and have in place a rather comprehensive risk assessment to ensure the risk is recognised and the appropriate responses to the risk are put into operation. The Lifevac is in place to enhance our response to possible incidents of choking. We worked constructively and effectively with Lifevac Europe to ensure the appropriate distribution of Lifevac to our Homes and to ensure the correct instruction to our staff on its use.” – Frank Cummins, Care Services Director, Caring Homes Group


“For me, the beauty of LifeVac is in its simplicity. Having assessed the suitability of the device, I had positive feedback from my frontline colleagues thanks to it being so easy to use and non-invasive, despite serving such a critical life-saving purpose.” Robi Roccella, Head of Wellbeing, HC-One.

Source: Care Home Professional


LifeVac Saves Another Life!

As we are LifeVac Europe, we have distributors around the UK, but also we have the privilege of having distributors around Europe such as LifeVac Spain, LifeVac SA, LifeVac South East Europe, LifeVac Polska and LifeVac Netherlands.

We have been informed LifeVac has saved  another life in Spain, which as always is amazing news!

A 1 year old boy named Irai picked an object up and put it in his mouth, whilst playing at his nursery in Navarra, Spain.

Irai began to choke and nursery staff carried out BLS which unfortunately failed. A staff member then grabbed LifeVac and with one application saved Irai’s life.

Due to receiving BLS Irai was checked over at the local hospital and was given the all clear.

Here is a video clip of local news interviewing Irai’s mother and the nursery staff member who used LifeVac to save little Irai’s life.


Marie from LifeVac Europe commented “We love receiving feedback that LifeVac has saved another life, knowing another little child is alive today because of LifeVac is an amazing feeling”.





For the use on adults only in the UK and Ireland until further notice.

LifeVac Saves Another Life!

On the 25th of October LifeVac Europe was informed of another life saved, this time in a care home in Tipton.

LifeVac was deployed in an Exemplar Healthcare care home, when a resident started to choke during meal time.

A resident with Spina Bifida who relies on an electric wheelchair started to choked during her dinner. Basic life support was carried out by nurses which failed. The resident became unconscious when one of the nurses went and grabbed LifeVac. With one application the LifeVac dislodged the food bolus saving the residents life.


Matthew Banagan from LifeVac Europe commented “This is great news! Exemplar Healthcare is one of our oldest customers and to know we have saved another life within their group is fantastic. This once again shows why LifeVac is now in over 3000 care and nursing homes across the UK, why LifeVac is the safest option and so well known in the care sector. We have had some amazing meetings these past 3 weeks and are looking forward to welcoming 3 more of the largest care providers in the UK to the LifeVac family very soon. We have built our reputation in the care sector through great customer service, saving lives, passionate distributors and we treat every customer as a partner.

Nearly every customer we have in the care sector is through word of mouth, you cannot buy your way into the care sector, you rely on your reputation you built and the service you provide.”


LifeVac is proud to be the only non invasive airway clearance device and only airway clearance device with independent medical testing, peer reviewed medical publications and medical abstracts proving safety, effectiveness and lives saved.