A new measure in the fight against choking deaths with LifeVac

Have you ever said “It went down the wrong way” or “It went down the wrong hole” when eating or drinking? You would not be the only person to say this. In fact, hundreds of thousands of people choke to death every year when first aid Basic Life Support (BLS) fails or cannot be performed.

BLS choking protocol when performed correctly in a perfect situation is around 70% effective, with risks of internal bleeding, fractured ribs, and ruptured spleen. These risks are greatly outweighed by the potential loss of life from such a preventative cause of death. For people who rely on wheelchairs for everyday tasks this success rate drops from 70% to roughly 40% as they may not be able to receive the abdominal thrusts. This could be due to being in a high back wheelchair, frailty, or conditions such as Spina Bifida and Muscular Dystrophy.

BLS choking

A common myth or misconception with first aid and choking is that, when people are trained in how to deal with a choking emergency, they go away thinking it will always work and that is all that they will need. When having a first aid class delivered to you, trainers do not explain how effective choking BLS protocol actually is, which leads to people thinking it is 100% effective. However, this is sadly  not the case.

When choking deaths due to the failure of BLS are reported in the media, articles promote taking first aid courses which is a must, which does not address the issue of what people could do when BLS fails to dislodge a foreign body airway obstruction (FBAO), as the must have skills they are promoting have failed to work.

Choking remains one of the leading causes of accidental death in adults over the age of 65 and children under five. For children, hazardous choking items including certain foods and toys pose great danger.

  • According to the New York State: At least one child dies from choking on food every five days in the US, and more than 12,000 children are taken to a hospital emergency room each year for food-choking injuries.
  • The size of a young child’s trachea (windpipe) or breathing tube is approximately the size of a drinking straw in diameter. Imagine a piece of popcorn being lodged in this small area.

In the UK, correct choking statistics are very hard to find, with some even going as far as saying the true toll of choking deaths are being hidden from public view.

According to CE safety, recent Office for National Statistics (ONS) government statistics from the UK show that “351 people die on average every year as a result of choking and further analysis of reports published by coroners suggests the true toll is being hidden”.

This toll is extremely misreported, so, we at LifeVac Europe carried out a Freedom of Information (FOI) requests on all NHS ambulance trusts in the UK. Even though some Trusts said the information requested would take too long to gather, the ones that did report back suggest that choking related deaths are much higher than stated by the ONS, with just one report being used as an example from South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) in 2017. In this report, it showed that 154 people had died from choking upon their arrival. This is just from one NHS ambulance service out of 13 Ambulance services/trusts in the UK.

This figure demonstrates how wrong the ONS “statistics” truly are.

In other countries such as Spain, more than 2000 people die from choking to death every year, and it is estimated that more people die from choking than road traffic accidents according to the National Statistics Institute (INE), Spain.

Children choking

Foods that are classed as a choking risk are things such as grapes, marshmallows, hard boiled sweets, and chewy sweets, such as Haribo and hotdogs. It is always recommended to cut food up for children, for example, you would not give a whole grape to a child as these are a “perfect” size to block their airway. It is recommended to cut grapes in at least half. Infants, children, and young people with a neurodisability, and those born prematurely, are most likely to be at risk of dysphagia, but feeding difficulties also occur in typically developing children.

Toys

Small toys such as bouncy balls, pens caps, marbles, and toys that have small parts are best kept away from children as they learn texture and taste in their developing process by putting items in their mouth. Most toys come with an age recommendation on the outer packaging, this to prevent the risk of choking.

Choking in adults 65+

Choking in adults above the age of 65 is due to many reasons, and mainly occurs in healthcare settings such as care homes, respite centres, nursing homes, and domiciliary care.

Some of the main reasons include neurological disorders, frailty, and dysphagia. Neurological disorders are disorders that affect the brain as well as the nerves found throughout our body including the spinal cord.

Frailty is a major factor when assessing a choking situation. As we age, we lose bone mass and density, bones become brittle and may break more easily. Due to this, someone who is 65 and older may not be able to receive the abdominal thrusts due to serious risk of breaking bones from which they may not recover. This means they can only receive back blows in a choking emergency, drastically reducing the survival rate.

Dysphagia is the inability to swallow foods and liquids correctly or being unable to swallow at all, this affects 50 – 75% of nursing home patients. Dysphagia can develop for many reasons, the most known reason within the adult care sector is neurological disorders such as Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. There are over 600 neurological disorders that affect over 14.7 million people, equating to at least one in six people living with one or more neurological conditions.

What many people do not know is that dysphagia in adults can also occur as a result of any of the following medical problems: stroke, head injury, brain tumour, HIV, lung cancer, Lupus, and many more.

What is LifeVac and how does it work?

LifeVac was invented by Arthur Lih from Long Island New York after hearing about a mother and father devastated from losing their child who choked on a grape. Sadly, there was nothing the doctors could do to dislodge the grape. Arthur, a dedicated father, spent the next 18 months researching choking and developing LifeVac.

LifeVac is an innovative non-invasive airway clearance device that has been designed to enable suction used in ALS and ILS to the normal everyday person, to save lives in a choking emergency when choking BLS fails. The use of suction to help dislodge an FBAO has been around for many years in ALS and ILS protocol and used by paramedics around the world, so everyone already knows that suction works to help dislodge an FBAO.

However, these suction devices/machines have tubes which can become blocked rendering the equipment useless if only part of the obstruction has been removed. There is also a high risk of tubes pushing the tongue back in a panic situation or tearing of the lingual frenulum causing oral damage further complicating the already panicked situation.

With two sonic welded discs for interchangeable sized masks, one LifeVac device can be used for all age groups by simply changing out the mask. LifeVac has a patented one-way valve system which means that when applied, no air can be forced through the mask, only through the second vented disc. When pulled the valve closes which generates over 326 mm Hg of suction, safely and effectively dislodging the obstruction. LifeVac has translucent bellows which allow the rescuer to see if the obstruction has been removed and entered this area or the mask.

“In today’s day and age due to human rights and ethics, you cannot carry out clinical trials on humans with medical devices such as LifeVac” 

From the beginning, LifeVac set out to make sure that safety and compliance is the number one priority. LifeVac was first independently tested by Retliff to see how much inbound and outbound pressure was generated when applied to see how effective the one-way valve system truly was.

LifeVac then went through durability testing to see if it could still be used in extreme hot and cold temperatures. Following this, the true tests came where the device was independently studied on adult and adolescent simulation manikins and a cadaver to see how effective LifeVac could be in dislodging an obstruction of the airway. A total of 49 out of 50 times in the independent cadaver study showed that LifeVac dislodged the simulated food bolus on the first application, and on the 50th time the bolus was removed on the second application. These studies are available via The American Journal of Gastroenterology,  The American College of Emergency Physicians and The American Journal of Emergency Medicine.

A poster presentation was quickly carried out at The World College of Gastroenterology on the first two real lives saved in a choking emergency in Wales UK, which was chosen as the winning poster presentation.

Following this evidence of efficacy an independent publication was then published in the International Journal of Clinical Skills on 11 lives saved by LifeVac – ‘Successful Use of a Novel Device Called the LifeVac to Resuscitate Choking Victims World-wide Results’.

Recently two more pieces of evidence have surfaced

1) An independent study carried out with a LifeVac device and a Laerdal choking adolescent simulator system. The LifeVac device successfully removed the obstruction 496 times out of 500 attempts in one single attempt. In 498 out of 500 in two attempts, all 500 obstructions were removed with three attempts

2) An independent publication on 21 real-life lives saved of children

To date, LifeVac has now saved over 96 lives from choking to death when BLS has either failed or cannot be performed and zero unsuccessful reported usages. This does not mean LifeVac will always be a 100% successful when current BLS fails to work or cannot be performed, but it does show that LifeVac has the potential to make current BLS protocol more effective in treating a choking victim – raising the current 70% effectiveness of BLS choking protocol to as close to 100% effective, as well as giving people such as wheelchair users an additional option when faced with a choking emergency.

Real life applications

LifeVac has dislodged full and partial airway obstructions in real life choking emergencies that have included: meat, garlic cloves, sandwiches, hard boiled sweets/candy, hotdogs, grapes, pretzels, coins, porridge, yoghurt, hard plastic, Velcro, bread, phlegm, sputum, leaves, and much more.

LifeVac has been used on conscious and unconscious casualties who have been lying down, sitting, and standing. LifeVac has even been self-applied when someone began to choke when they were on their own.

This year the reported usages of LifeVac have tripled compared to previous years due to growing market coverage and becoming the leader in airway clearance device technology. It is the only non-invasive airway clearance device and the only airway clearance device with independent medical testing, peer-reviewed medical publications, and medical abstracts proving safety, effectiveness, and lives saved.

Our long-term goal is to get “non-invasive handheld airway clearance devices” into BLS choking protocol and taught through first aid. This will put an end to the hundreds of thousands of deaths that occur every year due to FBAO. We are working hard to achieve this and are gathering more and more data every month to support this goal.

LifeVac is equipped in schools, kindergartens, cinemas, restaurants, public areas such as shopping centres, food halls, care homes, nursing homes, respite centres, gyms, police departments, emergency services, fire departments, dentists, and people’s homes around the world. In the UK alone LifeVac has worked with and equipped over 3900 care and nursing homes, from small independent care homes to the largest care home provider in the UK, HC-One.

LifeVac is FDA registered, MHRA registered, CE accredited, and registered by all governing bodies in countries sold.

LifeVac saves another child’s life when faced with a choking emergency!

We are very happy to share brilliant news that LifeVac has been used again in a choking emergency.

Our partners LifeVac Spain, shared the wonderful news with us today after receiving LifeVac’s medical feedback form from the little girls mother.

4 year old Rocio from Brunete, Madrid (pictured above) just like most children, was eating dinner with her parents. This time, dinner took an unexpected turn when Rocio began to choke on her fish.

Rocio’s mother acted quickly delivering back blows which failed to removed the assumed partial obstruction. She then went and grabbed her LifeVac and applied it to Rocio who was now laying down on the floor. Having never had to use her LifeVac before, with one application the LifeVac dislodged the fish that was blocking Rocio’s airway.

 

Eric from LifeVac Europe commented: “This is such amazing news to hear, especially after reading such tragic recent news of little Sadie Salt who tragically lost her life choking on sausage while at nursery in Radlett, UK. These are the outcomes both tragic and fortunate that keep us fighting, pushing on to make LifeVac widely available to the general public in the UK. LifeVac has now saved over 98 lives from choking to death when BLS has failed, over 34 of these lives have been children from as young as 11 months old. With new devices available on the market with little to no medical testing showing efficacy it makes our journey harder, but we will keep pushing so that the UK will join every other country in the world where LifeVac is freely available so that no other child has to lose their life to choking and no other parent has to go through the pain of losing their child. One day we will reach our goal of getting non-invasive hand held suction devices into BLS protocol and raise the 70% effectiveness to as close to a 100% as possible.

 

 

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

 

LifeVac saves 1st life within the Caring Homes Group

The team at LifeVac Europe are very proud to share wonderful news of LifeVac saving another life in the adult care sector, thanks to quick thinking nurses.

 

 

LifeVac Europe were informed that we have saved our first life within the Caring Homes Group when an elderly resident began to choke.
The Caring Homes Group delivered a group roll out to provide extra an measure for the wonderful people they care for in a choking emergency in 2018.

A few weeks ago the training that was delivered to the Caring Homes Group in 2018 “kicked in” when an elderly resident with dementia started to choke during meal time, which became a full airway obstruction. Staff acted quickly delivering BLS protocol which unfortunately failed to dislodge the obstruction. They quickly used LifeVac and dislodged the food from the residents airway on the first application saving their life.

 

 

“We have had LifeVac’s in all of our Homes for a few years now and we have never had to use one until now. We also invested in ensuring staff are trained in its application. I did say when we first put them in place that if Lifevac helps to save one life, it would be investment well spent. After this incident I am even more convinced of that.”

– Frank Cummins, Care Services Director, Caring Homes Group.

 

 

Matthew Banagan from LifeVac Euope commented: “It’s great to share news of another life being saved, especially being the first time within Caring Homes Group. We are very proud to have partnered with them and were able to be there in time of need. We sent out a free replacement as per our standard procedure when a LifeVac is used.”

LifeVac - Time is of the essence

LifeVac used AGAIN in the UK Care Sector!

It seems we are sharing every week now that LifeVac is used to help dislodge an obstruction in a choking emergency whether that be a full or partial obstruction. Soft obstructions such as yogurt, porridge, coleslaw, phlegm to hard solid obstructions such as meat, hard boiled sweets, grapes and so much more!  When the casualty has been sitting, standing and laying down, all when BLS has failed or cannot be performed.

It has been reported to the team here at LifeVac Europe that LifeVac has been used for the first time within TLC Care in their Cambridge Manor Residential Nursing Dementia Care Home.

A resident was enjoying their dinner, but came into difficulties and began to choke which became a partial obstruction.

BLS was carried out by the quick thinking staff/nurses which unfortunately failed to dislodge any of the obstruction. Staff quickly used LifeVac to dislodge the food bolus.

TLC Care luxury homes offer personalised care, designed to provide each resident with the support they need to live a fulfilling and active life. TLC Care provide Residential, Nursing, Dementia and Respite care.

 

Matthew Banagan from LifeVac Europe commented: “This is great news to receive, as we have partners who help us safeguard vulnerable people in the UK care sector such as The Care ShopBeaucareHelp Save Lives and Wightman & Parrish there are many care groups and homes who have equipped LifeVac that we don’t know about which makes it even more of a surprise when it is reported to us that LifeVac has been used. Each time LifeVac is used successfully or unsuccessfully we send out a confidential feedback form for our clinical files. This helps us improve our services and also helps us keep track of when a LifeVac device is used. To date we have now saved over 86 lives from choking to death when BLS has failed or cannot be performed and there have been zero reported unsuccessful uses of LifeVac. This is something we are extremely proud of.”

 

LifeVac saves two lives in the care sector, this time in the Netherlands!

The team at LifeVac Europe are please to announce that LifeVac has saved two lives in the Netherlands from choking to death when BLS failed.

 

A 58 year old male resident with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), was sitting in his wheelchair whilst eating dinner when he began to choke on his meal. Staff acted quickly delivering BLS protocol when it was recognised he was in distress with a total airway obstruction. Being a wheelchair user it was difficult to perform and unfortunately failed to dislodged his airway obstruction.

Staff then quickly deployed LifeVac before the gentleman became unconscious which dislodged the obstruction in seconds saving his life.

 

 

On the second occasion an 84 year male with Dementia was eating breakfast when he came into difficulty and began to choke on his food. This time the food was a partial airway obstruction which developed into a full airway whilst receiving BLS protocol which was carried out by staff.

The gentleman became unconscious and was moved to the floor. The staff grabbed LifeVac which dislodged the airway obstruction saving the gentleman’s life. He regained consciousness and was given the “all clear”.

 

Lea from LifeVac Europe commented:

“We are saving lives all over the world! Receiving weekly news of LifeVac saving peoples lives is a wonderful feeling. Thanks to dedicated people and LifeVac we are able to save peoples lives in a choking emergency when all else fails.”

LifeVac saves first life within Dovehaven Care Home

It has been reported to us that LifeVac has been used again in the UK care sector, this time within Dovehaven Care Homes.

 

Just like LifeVac Europe being a family operated business,  Dovehaven are a family run care group providing quality residential and nursing care for the elderly. Dovehaven have been providing quality care for their residents for over 30 years and pride themselves on the happy, welcoming atmosphere in all of their homes. Dovehaven provide a full range of care for residential and nursing needs, for both long term and respite periods.

Sam Jacob – Managing Director, with her colleagues made the decision like many other care groups across the UK small and large to equip the safest and most proven/effective defense to safeguard the amazing people they care for in a choking emergency for their care group……LifeVac.

“It worked a treat, really good piece of kit!”

“We had to use it today! We did the training and video’s early this week and I have to say it is really easy to use.”

This decision to go the extra step for the people they care for, proved to be a a great one, when a male wheelchair user began to choke in Dovehaven’s Brunswick Care Home in Southport.

Staff acted swiftly delivering BLS protocol which unfortunately failed to clear the gentleman’s airway obstruction. LifeVac was used to clear the obstruction and saved the gentleman’s life within seconds.

Matthew Banagan from LifeVac Europe commented:

“This is great news to receive! We are extremely proud to have partnered with Dovehaven Care Homes and are extremely happy that equipping LifeVac throughout their group has already proven to be a great decision for them. As per our standard procedure we sent out a free replacement airway clearance device. LifeVac has saved lives this year in Four Seasons Health Care, Exemplar Healthcare, Hallmark Care Homes, Roseberry Care, Sunrise Senior Living, Runwood Homes Senior Living, Akari Care and now we are extremely honoured to add Dovehaven Care Homes to this amazing list. I’m very proud LifeVac are making such an impact in the care sector, reducing one of the leading causes of accidental death in adults over the age of 65.”

 

Saving lives in the care sector around the world!

Being LifeVac Europe means we proudly have partners around Europe, Middle East and Africa who help us save lives.

One of or partners being LifeVac Spain who reported to us that LifeVac was used once again in a choking emergency within the care sector.

A female resident of a care home in Almeria, Spain became unconscious when she began choking on her meal of rice and vegetables. The resident was laying on the floor following dedicated staff carrying out BLS protocol which unfortunately failed to dislodge the obstruction. Staff quickly utilized LifeVac which dislodged the bolus of chewed up rice and vegetables saving her life.

Due to receiving BLS protocol the resident was given an x-ray as a precaution and given the “all clear”.

 

Eric LifeVac Europe’s Managing Director, commented:

“It’s great to hear all of these recent lives being saved by LifeVac when all else fails. LifeVac is equipped in care homes around the world thank you to our dedicated distributors who are just as passionate about saving lives as we are. LifeVac set the bar for airway clearance devices around the world being the first airway clearance device solely used for choking.  Still being the only airway clearance device proven to be safe and effective to use with independent medical testing, peer reviewed medical publications and medical abstracts.

LifeVac is now equipped in Schools, Care Homes, EMS, Retail Stores, Dentists, Sport Centre’s, Fuel Stations, Cinemas, Fire Departments, Restaurants, Nursing Homes, Hospitals and many many more places around the world thanks to the dedicated LifeVac World Team. Making a difference one life at a time.”

“A perfect world to us is a world without choking deaths”

 

LifeVac used for the first time within Runwood Homes Senior Living

It has been reported to LifeVac Europe that LifeVac was put to the test once again within the care sector when a resident began to choke.

A resident began to choke during meal time within Runwood Homes Senior Living, staff carried out BLS protocol but as this incident was a partial obstruction BLS was ineffective. Staff acted quickly and used LifeVac which dislodged the obstruction in seconds.

Runwood Homes Senior Living completed their face to face training on LifeVac for their group roll out in July 2019 to safeguard the people they care for in a choking emergency.

Gavin O’Hare-Connolly, Chief Operating Officer of Runwood Homes Senior Living commented:

“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.”

 

Matthew Banagan from LifeVac Europe commented: “This is fantastic news, the LifeVac Europe Team are very proud of the impact we are making in the care sector here in the UK. Having now worked with and equipped over 3750 care and nursing homes across the UK from small independent care homes to the largest care home provider HC-One we are proud to be leading the way in the fight against choking deaths in the UK care sector. LifeVac has dislodged full and partial obstructions in care settings from coleslaw and sputum to hard boiled sweets and meat. Not only are LifeVac leading the way but we remain the safest, most effective airway clearance device in the world. Being the only airway clearance device with peer reviewed medical publications, independent testing and medical abstracts proving safety and effectiveness. In simple terms the only airway clearance device with any testing to show how effective and safe it really is.”

 

LifeVac is so simple to use with detailed user instructions no training is required, but we do offer all types of training if needed as we are here to help meet everyone’s needs.

 

Four more lives saved!

We have been informed LifeVac has been used in different parts of the world again to save more lives from choking to death when BLS has failed.

 

2 year old Eva was saved from choking to death on hard candy thank’s to her quick thinking mum and LifeVac.

A statement from Eva’s mother:

“First let me start by saying that my beautiful, smart, and full of life 2 year old daughter would not be with me today without LifeVac.
Eva was sitting next to me, eating a piece of candy in our living room when I watched her suck in and start choking. Immediately I knew her airway was completely blocked and I started administering back blows. There was no coughing, no gasping, no crying screams – the complete lack of breath sounds was terrifying. Eva was desperately trying to reach down her throat with her hands and she was turning red to blue quickly. I administered back blows for 30 seconds or more, flipping her back and forth to try and help dislodge the candy, to no avail. I remembered the LifeVac I had purchased more than a year ago (when she first started eating solid foods) stashed under my kitchen sink. I prayed in my head that the device would work because I feared if I had to call 911 first responders would arrive too late. I only had to use the device once (place, plunge, pull) and the candy popped out right into the mask! After a good bit of consoling, Eva was completely fine.

I do want to point out that the device is so easy to use, even in times of panic. I had read the directions and assembled the device one time prior to it’s use over a year ago! I didn’t have time to look at them again before I used it on my daughter.

Thank you again for making such a wonderful device – and ultimately saving my daughters life ❤️.”


LifeVac’s first two lives saved in the Netherlands

 

LifeVac Europe took on LifeVac Benelux as a distributor following the 2019 ERC Congress held in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. A very good decision that became quickly apparent due to their shared passion in saving lives.

LifeVac was used in an elder care facility in the Netherlands to save two separate people from choking to death when BLS had failed. We look forward to sharing more information on this when it is shared with us.


 

LifeVac was used for the first time within Akari Care in the UK.

 

It was reported to us that LifeVac was used successfully to clear an obstruction of the airway within Akari Care when one of the wonderful people that they care for began to choke during meal time. When a resident began to choke staff acted quickly delivering BLS protocol which failed to dislodge the obstruction. LifeVac was deployed within seconds clearing the residents airway.

Akari Care completed their group roll out of LifeVac in December of 2019, which like many other care groups has proven to be a great success in the time of need in a choking emergency.


 

Matthew Banagan, one of the Directors from LifeVac Europe commented:

“This is absolutely brilliant news! I feel it is becoming a weekly occurrence we are receiving reports LifeVac is saving lives when all else fails. Our lives saved so far this year have doubled if not tripled than previous years which shows the real need for LifeVac and hand held suction devices to be implemented into BLS protocol. BLS protocol is ONLY 70% effective when performed correctly in a perfect situation, for people who are wheelchair users this percentage drops drastically as they may not be able to receive the abdominal thrusts and/or back blows.

I have just completed training for Care UK which was held at Lennox House Care Home in Islington, London. It was great speaking with Joe Nichols the care home manager who informed me that he has personally used LifeVac within the previous care company he worked for to save a residents life who choked on chicken.

 

We have some very exciting things lined up this year from entering the market in Dubai by taking on a new distributor, working with an ENT surgeon from GOSH in London to welcoming even more care providers to the LifeVac family in the UK.

LifeVac will continue being the leader in airway clearance device technology, being the original, only non-invasive airway clearance device and only airway clearance device with independent medical testing, peer reviewed medical publications and medical abstracts proving safety and effectiveness”.

LifeVac saves another life within Hallmark Care Homes and in the Spanish care sector!

It seems we are sharing news nearly every other week or month that LifeVac has saved another life as we continue to grow and lead the way in choking prevention.

Once again we have been informed LifeVac has saved two more lives, this time in two different countries hundreds of miles apart thanks to quick thinking carers and proactive care groups who go the extra step to safeguard the people they care for on a daily basis.

 

LifeVac Europe were informed one of our devices was used within Hallmark care homes during meal time.

A resident began to choke during during meal time while sitting in her chair and could not breath. Staff acted very quickly to the situation delivering BLS protocol which unfortunately failed to clear the residents airway. LifeVac was then deployed within seconds clearing dislodging the airway obstruction saving the residents life.

Hallmark Care Homes followed their company vision  “To be recognised as the leading provider of high quality, relationship-centred care for all residents.” last September when they rolled out LifeVac across their group having selected face to face training with our team.

This decision has proven to be very proactive as this is now the 3rd life saved by quick thinking carers and LifeVac within Hallmark Care Homes since their group roll out.

A free replacement LifeVac was sent out the same day as per our standard procedure.

 

 

LifeVac Europe was also informed of saving another life within the Spanish care sector when a 44 year old female resident began to choke in a Daycare home in Valencia, Spain.

The female resident started choking on her turkey sandwich, which became a full airway obstruction. Staff again acted very quickly delivering BLS protocol which failed to dislodge the large food bolus. LifeVac was then deployed and dislodged the ball of bread and meat in her airway. The resident began to breath again making a full recovery.

 

 

Matthew Banagan from LifeVac Europe commented: “This is amazing news as always! When we very first started we only heard of LifeVac being used every 2-3 months, but now it is being reported to us by the end user nearly every other week of LifeVac being used to save a life. Hallmark Care Homes completed regional training for their group roll out in September 2019 and since then we are very proud to have saved 3 lives within their group in a choking emergency.

We have helped hundreds of care homes/groups reach Outstanding across the board and are extremely privileged to have partnered with small independent care homes to the largest care provider in the UK HC-One who rolled out LifeVac across their group in January.

We just completed training for Community Integrated Care a few weeks ago and we are also looking forward to welcoming another one of the largest care groups in the UK to the LifeVac family very soon. LifeVac have some very exciting things lined up this year to enable us to venture into new markets and also more countries, which we look forward to sharing with everyone very soon.”

 

 

LifeVac continues to be to only non-invasive airway clearance device, meaning there are non tubes that can become blocked rendering the device useless if only part of the obstruction has been removed and there is no risk of pushing the tongue or obstruction back in a panic situation. LifeVac is also very proud to be the only airway clearance device with any medical testing proving safety and effectiveness. LifeVac has peer reviewed medical publications, medical abstracts and independent medical testing which is why we lead the way in airway clearance device technology.

 

2 more lives saved by LifeVac in a choking emergency

LifeVac Europe are proud to announce we have been informed of two more lives saved when BLS has failed to dislodge an obstruction of the upper airway.

A Care Home “San Juan de Dios” in Pego, Alicante (SPAIN) is where a 70 year old male resides who started to choke during meal time. Carers carried out BLS protocol which unfortunately failed to dislodge the whole mushroom in the gentleman’s airway and he became unconscious.

The staff quickly called the Spanish EMS who have LifeVac equipped within their response vehicles, LifeVac was applied to the unconscious gentleman and dislodged the whole mushroom. The gentleman was then taken to hospital for examination where he was given the “all clear”.

 

LifeVac was then used again on the other side of the world saving a 4 and a half year old girl from choking to death on a grape in the United States of America.

A testimonial from the little girls mother: “I am the mother of a 4.5 year old little girl. Thanks to LifeVac she is still with us today after choking on a grape from her salad. We were given the LifeVac from her grandparents and never in a million years did we expect to need it. My husband tried performing back blows and finger sweeps to remove the grape and when it failed we reached for the LifeVac. After using the device twice the grape was dislodged and she began breathing. We are so thankful that we had LifeVac on hand.”

We hope to receive a picture of the incredibly brave family soon.

 

Eric Banagan Managing Director for LifeVac Europe commented: “This is amazing news to hear! Saving two lives thousands of miles apart and also with a 65 year age difference is brilliant! LifeVac has saved over 21 lives since January of this year, with such sad challenging times at the moment affecting the whole world, it’s great hearing positive news and lives being saved when all else fails.

We have some exciting things in the pipeline this year such as continuing to work with the NHS, being informed of more peer reviewed medical publications on LifeVac and entering new markets. We are very proud of our team and our distributors around the world. Leading the way in airway clearance device technology and still being the only airway clearance device with independent medical testing, verifiable peer reviewed medical publications and medical abstracts proving safety and effectiveness.”

LifeVac Europe begin delivering training to care groups in the UK again this month with Community Integrated Care being the first to receive training on LifeVac for the people they care for on a daily basis.

 

We also look forward to welcoming more care groups to the LifeVac family within the next couple of months.

 

 

 

Not for use on children in the UK and Ireland until further notice. We hope we can save more children in the UK very soon.

LifeVac used again in the care sector to dislodge an obstruction in a choking emergency.

We are very happy to announce that LifeVac has been used again in the care sector a year apart.

We have been informed LifeVac was used on two separate occasions at Little Oyster Residential Home in Kent to dislodge an obstruction when residents began to choke during meal time.

 

Little Oyster turned to LifeVac when unfortunately they lost someone they cared for to choking in 2018 and BLS was performed but unfortunately failed to work.

We are very happy that when BLS failed again last year and again in January of this year, LifeVac was used as intended “when BLS has failed” to dislodge the obstruction, clearing the airway.

“The Ambulance crew present was very impressed by the
device and commented they think they should have these”.

When someone is choking with a completely blocked airway, no oxygen can enter the lungs. The brain is extremely sensitive to this lack of oxygen and begins to die within four to six minutes. It is during this time that first aid must take place. Irreversible brain death occurs in as little as 10 minutes.

Due to the nature of care/nursing homes and the wonderful people they care for, unfortunately it isn’t a case of if someone chokes, but when they choke and BLS fails. A common misconception within the care sector is that SALT care/ diet plans will stop someone you are caring for from choking altogether. This isn’t the case, as many care/nursing 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.

 

Matthew Banagan from LifeVac Europe commented: “This is great news! We try to encourage care providers to let us know when they have used a LifeVac so we can replace our used devices free of charge and it was just by chance we were informed of Little Oyster who we then made contact with. This is our 16th life saved since January of this year! We couldn’t be more thankful to Little Oyster for putting their faith in LifeVac like thousands of other care and nursing homes across the UK have”.

 

Two lives saved in a matter of days in the care sector.

LifeVac Europe are extremely proud to be informed of our 2nd life saved within Hallmark Care Homes.

Choking is a very common occurrence in the care sector due to the nature of who care providers care for on a daily basis. There are many reasons for this such as Dysphagia, physical disabilities, side effects from medications being taken which reduce the amount of saliva we produce, neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s Disease and Huntington’s Disease.

This sadly this means it isn’t “if” people choked but “when” they choke.

Hallmark Care Homes completed their regional training for their group roll out of LifeVac airway clearance devices in September of last year.

This month they had to put their training to the test when two residents within their group days apart began to choke during meal times. On each occasion BLS was carried out which unfortunately failed. LifeVac was used and saved the casualties lives in seconds dislodging the blockage in the airway.

 

Free replacement LifeVac’s were sent out the same day as our standard procedure.

 

Matthew Banagan from LifeVac Europe commented “This is amazing news once again! This is LifeVac’s 12th life saved since the end of January and in the UK we have saved lives in Hallmark Care Homes, Four Seasons Health Care, Exemplar Healthcare and Sunrise Senior Living all in the space of 4 months. It is a great feeling to know LifeVac Europe is making such a positive impact in the care sector, especially in such a sad and unprecedented time. We have worked with and equipped over 3600 care and nursing homes across the UK form small independent care providers to the largest care provider in the UK HC-One. We have had to put a lot of providers face to face training on hold for the time being due to the Coronavirus, but with our free training videos and detailed instruction booklets care providers can still have the confidence to use LifeVac to save a life.”

 

LifeVac is proud to remain the only non-invasive airway clearance device (no risk of pushing the tongue back in a panic situation or obstruction further down) and the ONLY airway clearance device with independent medical testing, verifiable peer reviewed publications and medical abstracts proving it is safe and effective to use. We are proud to lead the way and be the safest option in a choking emergency when BLS fails.

 

Use code CWC10 to receive a discount and 25% of your order with go to The Care Workers Charity Coronavirus Emergency Fund.

46-year-old man died after choking on a piece of toast

Peter Harley had last been seen eating the toast on the settee at the family’s Heron Cross home.

But two hours later his dad – also named Peter Harley – discovered his son unresponsive on the sofa in the early hours of 12th February

Paramedics attended the Grove Road address and discovered Peter’s airway was blocked. They pronounced him dead at the scene.

A statement from Mr Harley Senior was read out during his son’s inquest at North Staffordshire Coroner’s Court.

He said: “We were watching TV and when I went to bed at 11pm I left him eating a piece of toast sitting on the sofa. I woke up at 1am and went to check on my son as I could still hear the TV downstairs.

“My son was unresponsive with toast stuck in his mouth. I called an ambulance, but I already knew he had gone.”

A post-mortem examination gave the cause of death as ‘airway obstruction by food’.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service report states: “The patient was found by his next-of-kin having left him sat on the sofa. His airway was obstructed by food. We certified death at the scene.”

Assistant coroner Sarah Murphy concluded Peter’s death was accidental.

She said: “The deceased had a medical history of obesity and hypertension.

“He was last seen alive at 11pm on February 11th watching TV with his father and eating a piece of toast. He found him unresponsive on the sofa at 1am on February 12.

“Paramedics attended and found the airway to be fully obstructed and bread stuck in his right cheek and down into the airway.”

 

Source

LifeVac saves another life in the care sector!

LifeVac have been informed once again our device has been put to use to save another life from choking to death.

Staff at Lakeveiw Complex Needs Care Home in Manchester put their outstanding training and knowledge to the test when a resident began to choke on food during meal time.

David began to choke during meal time while eating his food, staff recognised David was in difficulty breathing and carried out BLS protocol which failed.

A staff member grabbed LifeVac and used it to dislodge the food from Davids airway saving his life.

 

Matthew Banagan from LifeVac Europe commented “This is great news again, Exemplar Healthcare is our oldest customer. With all the sad news lately in the world regarding the Coronavirus and the shortages with PPE within the care sector, it is nice hearing some good news at last. This is LifeVacs 9th life saved in 4 months when standard BLS has failed or cannot be performed due to underlying conditions such as frailty or disability. A free replacement LifeVac was sent out as standard procedure the same day.”

 

LifeVac has also recently partnered with The Care Workers Charity for their Coronavirus Care Workers Fund. Eric, MD from LifeVac Europe commented “As LifeVac has already worked with and equipped many of the CWC’s partners it felt only right that we partner with the CWC and help raise as much funds possible to support care workers effected by the Coronavirus. Just enter CWC10 when purchasing a LifeVac via our website and you will receive a discount from your order and 25% of each sale will go to the Care Workers Charity Coronavirus Fund.”

LifeVac will also continue to work with the CWC in the future to help raise funding for their emergency grants.

 

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

LifeVac Europe partners with The Care Workers Charity for the #Care4Carers Coronavirus Care Workers Fund

The Care Workers Charity (CWC) have set up a coronavirus care workers emergency fund to provide emergency financial aid to care workers who are self-isolating CWC funding link

LifeVac as well as many other companies/organizations have donated to this important fund.

As LifeVac Europe work very closely with the care sector in the UK we wanted to take it a step further to help the CWC raise as much money as possible during this unprecedented time. For every LifeVac purchased via our website using discount code CWC10 we will donate 25% of each sale to the CWC emergency fund. This code will also give our customers a 10% discount on their order.

The Care Workers’ Charity was founded in 2009 with the objective of supporting current and former care workers with one-off crisis grants to help almost 2 million care workers in the UK  contributing to one of the largest workforce’s, and caring for some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

Executive Director of the CWC, Karolina Gerlich has a message on this great cause:

LifeVac Europe have worked with and equipped over 3500 care and nursing homes across the UK from small independent care providers to the largest care home provider HC-One. During this privilege we have saved many lives from choking to death when BLS has failed or cannot be performed.

Matthew Banagan from LifeVac Europe commented: “Having trained hundreds of care workers around the UK I know how important this fund is to support care workers around the UK who are effected in this unprecedented time. People sometimes forget care workers are on the front line and work very hard to care for people who once cared for us. Being a care worker was already hard enough with daily challenges even before the Coronavirus came.  I have met Karolina quite a few times and her passion for what she does is amazing. It is a privilege to partner with The Care Workers Charity and help raise as much money as possible for the The Coronavirus Care Workers Fund.”.

Just enter code CWC10 in our checkout page and you will receive a 10% discount and 25% will go to this important campaign.

 

Six lives in only 2 months!

The start of the year has been amazing for LifeVac, We understand that some people do report to us when LifeVac has saved a life, as this is what is expected from our device.

So to encourage all uses to be reported back to us every LifeVac comes with a feedback form, we offer free replacement LifeVacs to help with cost and to say thank you for putting your faith in the leaders for airway clearance device technology.

Since January, 6 lives have been reported back to us which as always is amazing news!

Two lives have been within the USA and 4 lives have been within the UK care sector where choking is a very common occurrence due the wonderful people who are cared for that unfortunately suffer from conditions such as Dementia, Dysphagia, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease,  they may rely on a wheelchair for mobility or who are just too frail to receive full BLS protocol.

 

 

Marie from LifeVac Europe commented: “This is great to news to start 2020, the 5th time LifeVac has been used within Four Seasons Health Care and our 1st within Sunrise Senior Living and Roseberry Care. As always saving children from choking to death when all else fails is one of the best feelings, knowing they have the rest of their lives ahead of them.

 

LifeVac Europe – 2019 in review

2019 has been a hard year raising awareness of choking but has also been an amazing year for LifeVac.

 

LifeVac has saved over 50 lives from choking to death when standard BLS has failed or has not been able to be performed. Which means over 50 people can be called Mother, Father, Son, Daughter, Auntie, Uncle, Grandmother and Grandfather in 2020 and many more amazing years to come.

 

 

LifeVac was awarded Care Home Supplier of the Year award by the Outstanding Care Awards, this is something we are extremely proud of as we equipped hundreds of care and nursing homes across the UK in 2019 and started partnerships with many more care groups such as HC-One, Priory Group, Runwood Homes, Sunrise Senior Living, Hallmark Care Homes, Future Care Group Carechoice Ireland, Gracewell Healthcare, Akari Care and many more.

 

LifeVac was awarded company of the year by MED TECH Magazine and one of the Top 10 Respiratory Solution Providers – 2019.

 

We welcomed new distributors LifeVac Polska, LifeVac Benelux and LifeVac Brasil. We also saved our first life in Poland!

 

Our goal for 2020 is to carry on raising awareness of choking, continue to save as many lives as possible and gather more medical evidence for BLS protocol to support the use of hand held suction devices so that one day thousands of more lives can be saved every year when the abdominal thrusts and back blows fail or cannot be performed.

We have some amazing things lined up for 2020 and are proud to continue being the only non- invasive airway clearance device and only airway clearance device with medical testing, peer reviewed medical publications and medical abstracts proving safety, effectiveness and lives saved.

LifeVac saves another child’s life from choking to death.

LifeVac Europe was informed once again of saving another life. 11 month old, Meadow was eating an orange when it became lodged in her throat. She was coughing and gagging at first but it quickly turned into a full airway obstruction and the child was turning purple. Her mother quickly removed her from the high chair and administered back blows and the abdominal thrusts but all attempts were unsuccessful. She laid Meadow on the floor utilizing the LifeVac which dislodged the obstruction saving her child’s life. She was checked by a medical professional the same day.

Testimonial from the parent on social media:

“My baby almost died tonight, and I’m still so sick to my stomach over it. #LifeVac saved her life. My daughter was sitting in her high chair snacking on an orange when she started choking. I pulled her out and tried back blows, but she only seemed to worsen. I tried the Heimlich but that didn’t help either and what was partial seemed to become a full blockage as she started turning purple. I had my LifeVac on the counter because we only bought it about 2 weeks ago. Thank God I was able to dislodge the orange piece and she started to recover. A little voice kept bringing me back to the LifeVac, and I’m so glad I listened and purchased it. I’ve saved our girls from choking 3-4 times before, sometimes back blows and sometimes the Heimlich. This time was different and so much worse. I was completely helpless had I not had this life saving device. I highly recommend every house have a LifeVac on hand, as well as daycare’s and schools. I’m sooooo thankful to God and LifeVac that my baby is full of life.”

Eric Banagan, Managing Director of LifeVac Europe commented: “This is fantastic to hear! Another life is saved due to Meadows quick thinking mother and LifeVac. One day in the near future non invasive suction will be in BLS protocol and devices such as LifeVac will have the opportunity to save thousands of more lives each year when abdominal thrusts and back blows fail”.

 

 

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

LifeVac saves another life in the care sector!

On the 28th of November, LifeVac Europe was once again informed of LifeVac being used to save a choking casualty.

This time the incident occurred in a Spanish care establishment when a female resident who suffers from a severe neurological disability in her 70’s started to choke on chopped up apple during snack time.

BLS protocol was administered, the abdominal thrusts dislodged part of the apple but the female resident remained in respiratory distress due to pieces of apple still blocking her airway.

Staff then quickly utilized LifeVac which dislodged the remaining apple that was blocking her airway airway.

 

 

Matthew Banagan from LifeVac Europe commented “We are receiving news every week now of LifeVac saving more and more lives, not only in the UK care sector but around the world! Each one is special knowing someone else is alive today due to quick thinking dedicated care staff and LifeVac”.

 

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