facebooktwitterRSS
- Advertisement -
  • Most Commentedmost commented up
  • Most Emailedmost emailed up
  • Popularmost popular up
- Advertisement -
 

« News Home

Mercer area girl dies after choking at school



Published: Fri, February 17, 2012 @ 12:10 a.m.

Mercer cafeteria staff quickly performed CPR after hot-dog incident

photo

Aizeya

By Elise Franco

efranco@vindy.com

Mercer, Pa.

Aizeya Mattocks was at least given a fighting chance to survive thanks to cafeteria staff who stepped in quickly to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation, a medical official said.

Aizeya, a third-grader at Mercer Area Elementary School, died Wednesday evening at Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh. She was taken there after choking on a hot dog Monday during lunch at her school.

An autopsy wasn’t performed by the Allegheny County Coroner’s office, but Aizeya’s cause of death was ruled as asphyxia due to choking, said Rock Lorah, coroner’s office supervisor.

Dr. William Gathers, superintendent of the Mercer Area School District, said it’s not yet known how the 8-year-old began choking, but CPR was administered as soon as she became distressed. Gathers said all cafeteria monitors are trained in CPR.

“She was given CPR by a cafeteria aide and then the school nurse until the ambulance arrived and took her away,” he said.

Gathers said his staff did everything they could to aid the child.

“Unfortunately it resulted in something very tragic,” he added.

Lisa Parbi, injury-prevention specialist for Akron Children’s Hospital main campus in Akron, said that even though the child eventually died, school staff administering CPR increased her chance of surviving.

“That was a good thing that somebody stepped in and tried to resuscitate her,” Parbi said. “This should raise awareness of how important those skills are. They can make a difference, and they probably did make a difference, despite the outcome.”

Gathers said counselors were on campus Thursday to help grieving students and staff. He said a similar choking death has never occurred in his 33 years in the district.

“Our thoughts and prayers are certainly with the family in this grave time,” he said.

Parbi said that it’s easy for children to forget the importance of completely chewing and swallowing food, especially when eating in a social environment such as a school cafeteria.

“Talking, laughing, coughing, anything to do with the airway that you’re doing while you’re eating could cause you to choke,” she said. “Normally, in younger children, their airway is smaller, so it doesn’t take very much to block it.”

Linda Davis-Alldritt, president of the National Association of School Nurses, said the choking death supports her belief that more education on the topic is needed.

“By school age, it’s important to help kids recognize that they need to focus on eating and chewing,” she said.

Davis-Alldritt said the education could come in the form of classroom lessons, as well as discussions among parents and their children.

“Children are children, and it’s up to the adults to help remind them,” she said. “Dinner time at home is an opportunity to discuss table manners like not talking with a mouthful of food and also chewing and swallowing.”

Both officials said adults overseeing a lunchroom should watch children carefully.

“In general, we don’t really supervise older children as much as we do younger ones. And it’s because the choking is something that’s not typical of this age group,” Parbi said.


Comments

1walter_sobchak(1926 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

Every cafeteria worker should be properly trained and certified in CPR by the Red Cross. They would then also be taught the Heimlich procedure for clearing an airway.

Suggest removal:

2mike10(84 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

Sad

Suggest removal:

3commoncitizen(961 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

desperado, what a bunch of BS!!

Suggest removal:

4Momof2angels(1 comment)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

Walter and desperado...what you are not aware of are FACTS! The staff DID do the Heimlich and that the staff who supervise lunches include TEACHERS who, in Mercer, are certified in First Aid and CPR. The family does not blame the staff for anything. Their immediate actions at least gave her a chance. What a horrific tragedy for this family. Mercer Area School District should be given proper credit for having the hindsight to make it a priority to have all lunch staff trained. And again, yes, this includes teachers who do have lunch duties. I certainly hope other districts will follow their example and have all cafeteria supervisors trained. This is not the case for the most part. I pray for peace for this family as I cannot imagine losing a child for any reason. Each day is a gift that none of us should take for granted!

Suggest removal:

5walter_sobchak(1926 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

My statement was a generalization and was not meant in any way to disparage those involved but more as a cautionary note. No fate is worse in life than burying one of your children. Hot dogs appear to be innocent enough but, when in a small child's airway, are almost impossible to remove because they swell.

Suggest removal:


News
Opinion
Entertainment
Sports
Marketplace
Classifieds
Records
Discussions
Community
Help
Forms
Neighbors

HomeTerms of UsePrivacy StatementAdvertiseStaff DirectoryHelp
© 2014 Vindy.com. All rights reserved. A service of The Vindicator.
107 Vindicator Square. Youngstown, OH 44503

Phone Main: 330.747.1471 • Interactive Advertising: 330.740.2955 • Classified Advertising: 330.746.6565
Sponsored Links: Vindy Wheels | Vindy Jobs | Vindy Homes