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 asphyxia which leads to anoxia and is potentially fatal. Oxygen stored in the blood and lungs keep the victim alive for several minutes after breathing is stopped completely.
Choking can be caused by:
- Physical obstruction of the airway by a foreign body.
- Respiratory diseases that involve obstruction of the airway.
- Compression of the laryngopharynx, larynx or vertebrate trachea in strangulation.
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Famous quotes containing the word choking:
“I sit on a mans back, choking him and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that I am very sorry for him and wish to ease his lot by all possible meansexcept by getting off his back.”
—Leo Tolstoy (18281910)
“On like the wind they hurried, and Morgan rode in advance;
Bright were his eyes like live coals, as he gave me a sideways
And I was just breathing freely, after my choking pain,
When the last one of the troopers suddenly drew his rein.”
—Constance Fenimore Woolson (18401894)