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Causes of Suffocation

Lack of Oxygen at high altitudes with low atmospheric pressure, causes suffocation to climbers.

health and fitness Updated: Sep 03, 2003 20:49 IST

    Conditions affecting the air passage


        Food going down the wrong way into the air passage.

        Water getting into the air passage, as in drowning.

        Irritant gases (coal gas, motor-exhaust fumes, smoke, sewer and granary has, gas in deep unused wells.) getting into the air passage.

        Bronchial Asthma.


      Mass of food or foreign body such as artificial teeth etc in the air passage.

      Tongue falling back in an unconscious patient.

      Swelling of tissues of the throat and as a result of scalding ( boiling water) or injury, burns and corrosive.


      Tying a rope or scarf tightly around the neck causing strangulation.

      Hanging or throttling (applying pressure with fingers on the wind pipe).

      Smothering like overlaying an infant: and unconscious person lying face downwards on a pillow, or plastic bags, or sheets covering face completely for some time.

    Conditions affecting the Respiratory Mechanism.

      Epilepsy, Tetanus, Rabies etc.

      Nerve diseases causing paralysis of chest wall or diaphragm.

    Conditions affecting Respiratory Centre

      Morphine, barbiturates (Sleeping tablets):

      Electric Shock, Stroke

    Compression of the Chest

      Fall of earth or sand in mines, quarries, pits or compression by grain in a silo, or big beams and/or pillars in house-collapse.

      Crushing against a wall or other barrier or pressure in a crowd.

    Lack of Oxygen at high altitudes with low atmospheric pressure,where acclimatisation – (gradual ascent) is necessary.


First Published: Sep 03, 2003 20:49 IST