More people died from choking in Spain than in traffic accidents

Lifeguards rescue FOUR including two 6-year-olds off Cala Mijo beach in Spain's Águilas. Image: Ines Porada/Shutterstock.com

CHOKING asphyxia is the third largest cause of unnatural death in Spain, behind accidental falls and suicide.

Some 2,336 people died after a piece of food or other object prevented them from breathing in 2017. Accidental falls accounted for 3,057 deaths and suicide, 3,679, according to the National Statistics Institute (INE).

The data revealed that the majority of those who died of choking (2,112) were aged over 65.

A spokesman for the Spanish Otorhinolaryngology Society puts this down to ‘dysphagia’, which is a difficulty to swallow which appears as a symptom of many diseases, such as Parkinson’s.

But the INE states that of the total deaths due to suffocation, only 21 were due to food choking. The rest were caused by other objects such as pills and fragments of teeth.

In the case of children, toys and marbles are the most common elements.

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