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General

Can you swallow your tongue?

Can you swallow your tongue?

A persistent, but mistaken and potentially harmful belief

It can lead well-intentioned people to do ill-advised things with fatal consequences.

So that this does not happen to you, we are going to explain what should you do when a person is unconscious.

It is impossible to swallow your tongue

The tongue is anchored to the floor of the mouth by the bridle, a piece of tissue that make sure we can't swallow our tongues.

Although there are situations and positions where the tongue can temporarily block the airway and impede the flow of air. But the tongue is not swallowed.

When we are unconscious, the tongue can go limp and fall into the throat. This is one of the reasons why people are intubated during some surgeries and in the emergency room. But when the tongue partially obstructs the pharynx, a sudden cardiac arrest does not occur, a striking snoring is heard.

Contrary to popular belief, one of the worst things you can do with a person who is unconscious or having a seizure, is trying to put something in their mouth or stick out their tongue. It is very likely that we will end up causing a wound or with a bite on our fingers.

The biggest problem when a person is unconscious or having seizures is that they choke on your own bodily fluidssuch as saliva and vomit. When a person is unconscious, the cough reflex is suppressed, so he can drown in his own fluids.

What to do with an unconscious person?

The most important is keep calm. Although it can be complicated, it is essential.

Call to emergency.

If not breathing

Start with cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

1. Place it on resuscitation position: face up with arms and legs aligned on a rigid surface and with the thorax exposed.

2. Open the airway: place one hand on the forehead and with the other pull the chin upwards, to prevent the tongue from blocking the passage of air into the lungs.

3. Start 30 chest compressions in the center of the chest.

4. Make 2 insufflations with an open airway (forehead-chin) and a stuffy nose.

Alternate 30 compressions and 2 insufflations at a rate of 100 compressions per minute.

If he breathes

If you have received a strong blow

It is very important avoid moving it, and protect your neck to avoid any spinal injury.

To open the airway, extend her head by holding her forehead and moving her chin up to open her mouth.

He has not suffered any blow, only has faded

Put the person in lateral safety position, on the left side. The tongue is withdrawn from the airway to one side by its own weight and it will also prevent choking if you vomit.

We hope you never have to use these tips, but it's always best to be forewarned.

Keep reading:

  • When should cardiopulmonary resuscitation be performed?
  • Epilepsy: keys to knowing it
  • Febrile seizures in children


Video: Mew Push Swallow by Dr Mike Mew Part 1 (January 2021).