I read Eric's post in the UK forum, regarding his having emergency medical treatment for laryngospasm episodes. As one who occasionally suffers these spasms, this is quite alarming. My understanding was that if the spasm lasted long enough for your blood oxygen to drop, that the muscles in the throat would relax before you lost consciousness. I have asked Eric for some information on his regrettable experience with this. I would appreciate anyone's information/experience with this.
I have experienced a few laryngospasms myself and I have read everything I could find on the subject. The following abstract talks about laryngospasm to the point of syncope (fainting). http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11801981
First, I need to emphasize I am not a medical professional, and you should not rely on any information until you confirm that information with your doctor. That said, my understanding is: by far the majority of laryngospasms are cleared before reaching a critical level. However, if a person has a severe laryngospasm that goes on for a while, he may eventually experience hypoxia (low oxygen levels) and then he may experience syncope (fainting). At that point he may fall to the floor, but also the muscles causing the laryngospasm are likely to relax, and he will be likely to start breathing again.
That leads to the notion that, if experiencing a severe laryngospasm, you might want to move to a place with a soft chair or rug in case you get to the point of syncope (fainting) and you fall. However, I emphasize again that I believe it is exceedingly rare to get to syncope; most laryngospasms resolve before that.
If you do an online search for the word "laryngospasm", you will find many articles on what to when one occurs, for example, (1) relaxing the jaw, (2) breathing slowly through pursed lips as if using an imaginary straw, or (3) pressing on the laryngospasm notch (search on "laryngospasm notch").
I believe that all people with KD should read up on these techniques in case they may be needed. For me, the worst part of a laryngospasm is the panicky feeling that occurs because I feel like I am choking, even though laryngospasm is not choking. Having those techniques in mind helps to reduce the worry.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Dan B,
Oy! 6 of 8! I hope that having KD instead of GERD as the source of the spasm changes the results. Thanks, Dan.
Cam, I think you are right. A larnygospasm caused by GERD is worse, and goes on longer, because the stomach acid coming up through the esophagus is more of a continuous stimulus, and it keeps the laryngospasm going. On the other hand, a laryngospasm caused by swallowing, such as occurs in a man with KD, is caused by a small particle of food or drop of liquid in the throat. Therefore, it might be cleared more quickly then the one caused by GERD.
One other question: above you mentioned emergency medical treatment for laryngospasm. I haven't been able to find any information about emergency treatment (except when the laryngospasm is incidental to anesthesia). Do you know what the emergency treatment was?
It was not my experience, you may wish to inquire with Eric.
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