There is nothing scarier than gasping for air to breathe in. A person can choke on any object stuck in their throat at any time, be it alone in a room or while traveling on public transport. Someone may offer to do the Heimlich maneuver on them or even the “five-and-five.”
But both techniques come with their own risks. The Heimlich maneuver, when done poorly, can cause internal bleeding, and “five-and-five” cannot be performed on children under a certain age. Under such circumstances, there is a need for an innovative respiratory solution that can fit the requirements of both adults and children and avoid detrimental risks.
To bridge this market gap, Arthur Lih came up with LifeVac, an apparatus that can save lives from succumbing to choking. The primary purpose of this respiratory solution is to clear the upper airway so that an aspirating person can be easily saved. With an easy-to-use design and unique approach towards saving a choking person, it can also be used by individuals on themselves, without causing any pain. According to the company profile, it is an FDA-registered and patented service available in the USA to handle emergency blockages in the airway.
It acts as the best course of action in the case of Foreign Body Airway Obstruction (FBAO), a medical emergency that can even lead to death. FBAO is a life-threatening emergency that also goes highly under-diagnosed and under-reported. Of all choking hazards in 2000, 59% were caused by non-food items like balloons, and 41% by food.
Research shows that the death rate caused due to choking is highly associated with increasing age, being the second-highest preventable cause of death for this cohort of people. In such cases, the need for adopting respiratory solutions and ACD like LifeVac increases. An ideal airway clearance device (ACD) offers an extended means of choking management, while the responsibility of safety and effectiveness relies upon the user.
Created out of necessity and a market gap, the LifeVac has its roots deep into parental love and care. Its CEO, Arthur Lih says, “When you become a parent, you learn what true love really is. During a choking emergency, it only takes 4 to 8 minutes for your child’s brain to die, and the child you love is gone. I could not find another device to save my child in a choking emergency. My love for my daughter pushed me forward to invent a device to save my child. When I finally created a working device, I felt obligated to share LifeVac with parents and caregivers throughout the world.”
The LifeVac seems to be heavily inspired by the design of a plunger, and the working mechanism also draws significant parallels. Its one-way valve with a seal can cover the mouth to avoid air escaping. The device is designed such that it can only pull out an object or food stuck in the throat, but cannot push it further inside. It only requires the user to press down at a good position on the mouth and then pull back to remove any obstruction. In simple words, the working mechanism is – place -> push -> pull. The suction duration is also less, with a LifeVac apparatus generating 300 mmHg of suction, making it safe to use with effective results. It is recommended to use on people of any age, with pediatric masks designed for those who weigh 22 pounds or more.
An innovative company like LifeVac has designed three life-saving products –
- LifeVac Home Kit
- LifeVac Travel Kit
- Pediatric Mask
The LifeVac Home Kit comes with three masks – two for practical application and one for practice purposes. These masks can cover both adults and children and never expire. If a LifeVac has been used in any choking emergency, then the company also offers a free replacement.
As a company offering respiratory solutions, the practicing mask is a welcome addition to ensure that the users are familiar with its working mechanism before an emergency occurs. It also comes with additional literature and a clear zip-close bag for safekeeping.
On the other hand, the LifeVac Travel Kit does not come with any additional literature or practice mask but is packed in a yellow zip-up bag. Ideally, the company has designed this product for those already acquainted with the working mechanism of the home kit and need another kit to carry along, while traveling. This travel kit contains one adult mask and one pediatric mask, with concise usage guidelines.
The pediatric mask comes as a replacement mask for the main LifeVac unit. The company advises periodic inspection of the product and suggests replacing it once every two to three years. All the LifeVac products come with choking prevention tips that can come in handy for people to build a common sense around choking.
With the increasing demand for the product and efficient usability, LifeVac continues to create different kits and combinations to make its product more accessible. Its LifeVac EMS kit is specially designed for professionals and first responders like paramedics, EMTs, fire and police officials. This kit combines one pediatric mask, one adult mask, and the usage literature, sealed in a four mill bag for easy accessibility.
LifeVac has created its brand perception around loving and caring for family members to avoid preventable accidents. This is why it also offers video tutorials for educational purposes on how to use the LifeVac suction apparatus. It strongly condemns the use or demonstration of such devices in any non-emergency setting and recommends certified training in BLS protocol.
Till now, LifeVac has recorded 258 cases of saving lives and creating a difference for families who would have otherwise lost their loved ones. Various articles and customer responses glorify the achievements of the LifeVac apparatus and inform more people about it. LifeVac is indeed an innovative respiratory solution that not only saves a choking person but also gives hope and assurance to families that their loved ones are safe. Currently, it is available in the USA, Canada, Europe, Southeast Europe, Japan, Australia, and Spain.