LA County Sheriff’s Sergeant saves man from choking
On Tuesday, December 6, 2022, Sergeant Duncan was assigned to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s County Services Bureau and was patrolling an alley behind a Department of Public Social Services office in Los Angeles when he saw another Los Angeles County employee exit his van in distress. Sergeant Duncan saw the man’s face was red and was giving him the international sign for “choking” by signaling with his hand towards his neck.
Sergeant Duncan immediately got out of his patrol vehicle to render aid. Seeing the man was choking and could not breathe, Sergeant Duncan immediately applied the Heimlich maneuver. After about 5-6 thrusts, Sergeant Duncan was able to dislodge the food particles that obstructed the man’s airway. Once Sergeant Duncan ensured the victim’s airway was clear, he asked the man if he needed medical assistance, but medical aid was refused. Sergeant Duncan monitored the man for 5-10 minutes before continuing to patrol his area. When describing the ordeal, Sergeant Duncan humbly said: “It was just me doing what any deputy would do.”
When notified about Sergeant Duncan’s heroic action, Sheriff Luna said, “The quick response of Sergeant Duncan was another example of the extraordinary job the men and women of this Department provide to the citizens of LA County. Thank you Sergeant Duncan!”
According to Statista.com, anywhere from four to five thousand people die each year from choking. This all too common obstruction of a person’s airway can be caused by either food or, more commonly in children, small objects.
If you want to know more about conscious choking and the Heimlich maneuver, please visit the National Library of Medicine at: https://medlineplus.gov/choking.html or your local red cross.
Understanding the signs of choking and how to perform the Heimlich maneuver can mean the difference between life and serious injury or death.