From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
- The process in which a person's airway becomes blocked, resulting in asphyxia in cases that are not treated promptly.
- The act of coughing when a foreign object (i.e. food, beverages) becomes lodged in a person's airway.
Choking is the mechanical obstruction of the flow of air from the environment into the lungs. Choking prevents breathing, and can be partial or complete, with partial choking allowing some, although inadequate, flow of air into the lungs. Prolonged or complete choking results in asphyxiation which leads to hypoxia and is potentially fatal.
Choking can be caused by:
- Introduction of a foreign object into the airway, which becomes lodged in the pharynx, larynx or trachea.
- Respiratory diseases that involve obstruction of the airway.
- Compression of the laryngopharynx, larynx or trachea in strangles.