According to research from NSC's Injury Facts, choking is the fourth leading cause of death in the US. It can happen to anyone and often occurs when something is lodged in the throat.
The scariest moment of my life was when my neighbor's child started choking on a small toy. With the hospital far away, we were faced with doing anything we could while we waited. However, we're not professionals or even trained, and the experience was traumatic for many reasons. Thankfully everything ended up okay, but if we had known about LifeVac or Dechoker, we would have probably been able to help him better.
While there are many methods of stopping choking, some work better than others. In this buyer's guide, we will compare the Lifevac vs Dechoker to help you decide which one is better for you.
|4.8 / 5
|4.6 / 5
|Where to Buy
|Shape and Structure
|No, because of sanitary reasons
|persons starting at 22 pounds
|12 months old and up
|Use on Yourself
|Recorded Lives Saved
|500 since November, 2022
|332 since November, 2022
|No, it's FDA registered as a class II medical device
|No, it's FDA registered for use in a choking emergency
|Lifetime. Only the mask needs to be replaced every 2-3 years
|27 month shelf life
|available on the official site
|available on the official site
What Is LifeVac?
LifeVac is a life-saving device that is simple for adults and children to use. There’s no electricity needed since it pulls out anything in the airway with manual suction. At 30 mmHg, the suction is rather low and controlled, making it incredibly safe for use on any person who weighs at least 22 pounds (including children).
How Does LifeVac Work?
LifeVac is specially designed using a patented valve that prevents any air from leaving the mask. The valve is also designed in such a way that it prevents food and other objects that might be blocking your airway from slipping further downward. Rather than acting in the same way that a plunger would (i.e., pushing in air and suctioning it back out), the LifeVac offers a one-way suction that eliminates the blockage from the airway, whether it is food or some foreign object.
To use LifeVac properly, place the cup in a way that it can cover both the mouth and the nose, creating a seal around these areas. Once in place, the valve would be needed to be pulled up by the user using the suction device.
This is a safe step as the valve is designed in such a way that it goes only one way. This ensures that the user does not push the obstacle even further down the airway even by mistake. Furthermore, LifeVac is only made to be used one time, so you might want to stock up for future issues.
Is LifeVac Safe?
Reports suggest that LifeVac that is made in the United States of America is safe to use. It has been evaluated and validated by third-party use. It has also been assessed through various clinical studies to make sure it is safe for consumers to use. Not only that, but it has also been registered with the Food and Drug Administration - adding to the authenticity of the product. With LifeVac, you get an adult mask, a child mask as well as a practiced mask.
Is Lifevac FDA Approved?
No. While the LifeVac patented device has been registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a certified Class 2 medical device, it isn’t technically a medical device like medicine would be. Therefore, the FDA wouldn’t have the jurisdiction to approve it.
Still, the evidence seems to speak for itself, and it adheres to any of the standards that the authority has put in place for such devices. With 100% effectiveness, there are no known short-term or long-term side effects for using this device.
What Is Dechoker?
Much like LifeVac, DeChoker is also an airway clearing device that removes any food or other item that might be stuck in your airway. It can be used on any adult or child, though the child must be at least one year of age. Regardless of any pre-existing condition or illness, Dechoker is designed to work for everyone.
The compact design makes Dechoker easy to store until needed. When someone has a blocked airway, retrieve the Dechoker device from wherever it has been stored.
How Does Dechoker Work?
DeChoker works when you place the mask on the victim’s mouth and insert the tube into their throat. After that, the plunger is pulled causing the device to suck whatever is stuck in the airway. DeChoker is considered to be safe to be used on a conscious person. Interestingly, despite the tube that goes into the throat, most people say that it causes no pain.
To use DeChoker properly and efficiently, you would need to tilt the patient’s head in such a way that you can access their airway. After that has been done, insert the tube in their throat in a way that the mask covers their mouth and nose.
After that, you would need to apply pressure to pull out the plunger so that suction is secured, and the obstruction is pulled right out of the airway. In the process, you would also need to make sure that a kind of seal is created between the mask and the patient’s mouth and no space is left between the two.
Is Dechoker Safe?
There's no severe pain when inserting the tube, and removing the obstruction reduces pain. Some might feel slight discomfort, but that's about it. There's no need to have professional training, but watching the available videos ensures that it is used properly.
Dechoker is being investigated by the FDA for a string of serious incidents including 13 failures.
Is Dechoker FDA Approved?
LifeVac vs. Dechoker
Both LifeVac and DeChoker serve the same purpose - unblocking a person’s airway by suctioning out the blockages. Still, there are some differences between the two in terms of shape, pricing, and some features. The two devices also differ with their respective shelf lives, as well as the weight of each device.
Shape and structure
There are some basic differences in the shape and structure of the two devices. While the DeChoker looks like a large syringe, LifeVac looks more like a small accordion. However, both devices have valves that allow the air to travel and exit through the masks that are put over the victim’s mouth.
LifeVac is non-invasive, where as Dechoker has a tube which risks pushing the obstruction further down or tongue back. LifeVac is also the only device with any actual testing, peer reviewed medical publications showing effectiveness and safety, whilst Dechoker has nothing.
There is also a difference in the number of times each of these devices can be used. While DeChoker can be used only once, keeping in mind the sanitation policies as directed by the parent company, LifeVac, on the other hand, is considered safe to be used more than once - provided that the obstruction is not cleared in the first go. Once the obstruction has been cleared, LifeVac cannot be used again due to sanitation reasons.
Another point of difference between the DeChoker and LifeVac is the expiry date and shelf life. According to the DeChoker manufacturing company, the DeChoker has a shelf life of 27 months. However, LifeVac says that it has no expiry date and can be used if it has not been used on a patient before. However, LifeVac masks would need to be replaced every two to three years.
DeChoker and LifeVac also differ when it comes to pricing. LifeVac is a little expensive than DeChoker. LifeVac costs $69.95 per piece. Meanwhile, DeChoker costs $49.95.
Weight is another point of difference between DeChoker and LifeVac. While LifeVac weighs 1.01 pounds per piece, DeChoker is relatively lighter and weighs about 0.6 pounds per piece.
Where to buy
Both the LifeVac and DeChoker devices are available on Amazon. They are also available on their respective official websites - LifeVac on lifevac.net and DeChoker on dechoker.com.
To use any device properly and efficiently, it is important to learn how to use it - especially when you have another life to save.
If you want to learn how to use LifeVac, you could go to their website and click on the 'training' section. Meanwhile, you could also go to the DeChoker website and learn how to use it.
Both brands sell the training course, but the difference is the course's price and contents. For example, with Lifevac, you'll learn CPR and how to use the device for $34.99. On the other hand, Dechoker charges $99 only to learn how to use their device. I don't know about you, but Lifevac's course seems a much more appealing choice.
The Bottom Line
As you can see and must have noticed, both DeChoker and LifeVac have the same purpose overall - to clear an airway by suctioning out the blockages and making way for the air to exit through the mask.
However, even though the purpose of both devices is similar, when looked at closely, the two devices have a variety of differences that can often be pointers for the consumers to analyze and make a choice regarding which one of the two to buy.
The differences between the two devices include that of pricing, shape, structure, weight, shelf life, and ease of use.
Even though Dechoker is $10 cheaper, I recommend going with Lifevac because it is non-invasive and easier to use.
The biggest Dechoker turn-off is the fact they were investigated by the FDA and separately by North Carolina state investigators because of an "investment scheme," according to the search warrant and other state records.