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  • Foreign body airway obstruction (FBAO) represents a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in the pediatric population. Factors including pediatric anatomy, chewing and swallowing difficulties, developmental stages, habits and behaviors, and children’s toys and foods increase risk of FBAO in children.1,2
  • BLS guidelines for FBAO management in responsive children ages 1-8 call for a series of subdiaphragmatic abdominal thrusts, which increase intrathoracic pressure to force air and the foreign body out of the airway.3,4 Abdominal thrusts have higher reports of injury compared to all other FBAO interventions, with risk of thoracic, vascular, and gastro-esophageal injury.5-7
  • Novel suction-based airway clearance devices (ACDs), including LifeVac and Dechoker, are non-powered, externally applied, and utilize a negative pressure system to remove an obstruction from the airway.6,8 They are straight-forward to use and less invasive than abdominal thrusts.
  • This research aimed to address the following question: In children with foreign body airway obstruction, are suction-based airway clearance devices superior to established pediatric BLS guidelines for abdominal thrusts in terms of successful foreign body removal and ease of use?

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pediatrics, foreign body aspiration


Analytical, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Techniques and Equipment | Medicine and Health Sciences | Pediatrics


Capstone presentations were completed in partial fulfillment of the Master of Science degree in Physician Assistant Studies at Thomas Jefferson University.

Document Type


Role of Suction-Based Airway Clearance Devices in Pediatric Foreign Body Airway Obstruction