Asphyxiation, cad é?

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Asphyxiation, cad é?

Asphyxia is a situation in which the body, the organism is deprived of oxygen. This element essential to the functioning of the organism no longer reaches the vital organs (brain, heart, kidneys, etc.). The consequences of asphyxiation are serious, even life-threatening.

Definition of asphyxia

Asphyxia is, by definition, a depletion of oxygen in the body. This results in breathing difficulties which can be severe. Indeed, depleted in oxygen, the blood can no longer provide this essential element to all the organs. The latter therefore become deficient. Damage to vital organs (heart, brain, kidneys, lungs) can be fatal for the individual.

Asphyxia is often associated with pre-natal involvement. We then distinguish:

  • Intrapartum asphyxia, characterized by acidosis (pH
  • Positional asphyxia is the consequence of mechanical obstruction of the respiratory muscles. Again, this form of asphyxia is the result of a state of acidosis as well as alveolar hypoventilation.

The particular case of erotic asphyxiation and its dangers

Erotic asphyxia is a special form of asphyxia. It is a deprivation of the brain in oxygen, within the framework of sexual games. The headscarf game is a variant of this form of asphyxiation. These practices are used to induce particular pleasures (sexual, dizziness, etc.). The risks and consequences are very serious. The brain being deprived of oxygen, its functioning is greatly reduced and the consequences can be irreversible, even fatal.

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The causes of asphyxiation

There are many causes that can cause asphyxia:

  • blockage of an element in the respiratory tract
  • the formation of laryngeal edema
  • acute or chronic respiratory failure
  • inhaling toxic foods, gas or smoke
  • strangulation
  • a position blocking the respiratory muscles, held over the long term

Who is affected by asphyxiation?

A situation of asphyxiation can affect any individual if they are subjected to an uncomfortable position, blocking their breathing, or even swallowing a foreign body blocking their respiratory system.

Premature babies are at increased risk of suffocation. The poorly positioned fetus during all or part of the pregnancy can also suffer from asphyxiation, by deprivation of oxygen from the umbilical cord.

Young children, having an increased tendency to put items in their mouths are also more at risk (toxic household foods, small toys, etc.).

Finally, workers whose activity is subject to work in confinement or using toxic foods also have an increased risk of asphyxiation.

Evolution and possible complications of asphyxia

The consequences of asphyxiation are serious. Indeed, the deprivation of the body of oxygen systematically leads to a depletion of this element essential to the organism and to the vital organs: brain, heart, lungs, kidneys, etc.

Symptoms of asphyxiation

The clinical signs and symptoms of asphyxia are a direct result of the deprivation of the body of oxygen. They translate into:

  • sensory disturbances: visual impairment, buzzing, whistling or tinnitus, etc.
  • motor disorders: muscle stiffness, muscle weakness, etc.
  • mental disorders: brain damage, loss of consciousness, anoxic intoxication, etc.
  • nervous disorders: delayed nervous and psychomotor reactions, tingling, paralysis, etc.
  • cardiovascular disorders: vasoconstriction (reduction in the diameter of blood vessels) indirectly leads to the constriction of organs and muscles (abdominals, spleen, brain, etc.)
  • an acid-base imbalance
  • hyperglycemia
  • neamhoird hormónacha
  • kidney problems.
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Risk factors for asphyxiation

The risk factors for asphyxiation are:

  • improper positioning of the fetus during pregnancy
  • saothair roimh am
  • a position that blocks breathing
  • the development of laryngeal edema
  • exposure to toxic foods, vapors or gases
  • ingestion of foreign body

How to prevent asphyxiation?

Prenatal and neonatal asphyxia cannot be predicted.


Asphyxia in young children is mainly the consequence of the ingestion of toxic foods or foreign bodies. Preventive measures limit the risk of accidents: place household and toxic foods at a height, carefully monitor foreign bodies in the mouth, etc.

Prevention of asphyxia in adults involves avoiding uncomfortable positions and blocking the respiratory system.

How to treat asphyxia?

The management of a case of asphyxiation must be effective immediately in order to limit the consequences and the risk of death of the individual.


The primary objective of treatment is to unblock the airways. For this, the ejection of the foreign body and the decluttering of the person is essential. Mouth to mouth is the second phase, allowing the re-oxygenation of the body. If necessary, cardiac massage is the next step.

This first aid is generally to be carried out as early as possible, while waiting for help. When the latter arrive, the patient is placed under artificial respiration and a series of examinations are carried out (blood pressure, perfusion, heart rate, oxygenation rate, etc.).

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