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Paramedics save man after whole fish jumps down his throat

As the man was pretending he was going to eat the fish, it wriggled free and jumped down his throat, leading to a blocked airway and cardiac arrest


By EMS1 Staff

DORSET, England — A man was saved by paramedics after a fish jumped down his throat and caused him to go into cardiac arrest.

The Guardian reported that the man was joking around with the 5.5-inch fish, pretending he was going to put it in his mouth when it broke free and jumped down his throat.

The fish caused a completely-blocked airway and cardiac arrest. When paramedics arrived, they said friends were performing CPR on the man who had collapsed and was not breathing.

“The boys were giving really good CPR on our arrival as instructed by the control room staff,” paramedic Martyn Box said. “Initially, we didn’t know the true extent of the situation or what the patient was choking on, but as we questioned them further we were told he had a whole fish stuck in his windpipe.”

Once inside the ambulance, paramedics said the man’s condition was worsening despite artificial ventilation.

“It was clear that we needed to get the fish out or this patient was not going to survive the short journey to Royal Bournemouth hospital,” paramedic Matt Harrison said. “I used a laryngoscope to fully extend the mouth and throat and saw what appeared like an altered color of tissue in his throat. Using a McGills forceps I was able to eventually dislodge the tip of the tail and very carefully, so as not to break the tail off I tried to remove it – although the fish’s barbs and gills were getting stuck on the way back up.”

Harrison said the fish, a dover sole, finally came out after six attempts.

“I have never attended a more bizarre incident and don’t think I ever will,” Harrison added. “We’re all so glad the patient has no lasting effects from his cardiac arrest, which could so easily have had such a tragic and devastating outcome.”

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