Blockage of the Airway Suffocation Aspiration Gagging

If the airway is blocked then oxygen cannot get into the lungs and asphyxiation results. A pillow or hand, for instance, can be placed over the mouth, prevent a person from breathing, and cause suffocation. An unchewed peanut or small parts of toys can become lodged in the airway of and infant or child. Individuals without teeth or with a history of stroke or other debilitating disease may have trouble chewing and may aspirate food into the airway. Those under the influence of alcohol are also more likely to aspirate. There are usually no signs of trauma in these deaths.

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