Two men evacuated in serious condition after choking on sufganiyot

Sufganiyot can be especially dangerous to the very young and the old.

 Hanukkah donuts (sufganiyot) on display at Neeman Bakery in Jerusalem. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Hanukkah donuts (sufganiyot) on display at Neeman Bakery in Jerusalem.

A 70-year-old man was evacuated to Laniado Medical Center in Netanya after choking on a sufganiyah on Monday.

First responders treated the unconscious man on the scene and then transported him to the hospital while carrying out CPR.

Magen David Adom medics described arriving on the scene: "We found the man lying on the ground without a heartbeat and not breathing. We started resuscitation immediately... During the treatment, we retrieved a piece of dough from his throat with special equipment. We evacuated him to the hospital continuing CPR, during which he was in unstable and serious condition."

A short while after the first incident, another man in his mid-60s choked on a sufganiyah in Ofakim and was evacuated to Soroka-University Medical Center in Beersheba in serious condition. 

United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Motti Elbaz said: " According to the man's family, he choked while eating the sufganiyah. Together with other first responders who arrived, I performed CPR on the man in an effort to save his life. During one of the rounds of compressions, the piece of sufganiyah was dislodged from his windpipe. Miraculously, the man's pulse came back and he was transported to Soroka hospital sedated and ventilated in serious but stable condition."

Surprisingly dangerous donuts

Sufganiyot surprisingly often lead to serious injuries. In the past, there were a lot of reported incidents of people choking on the doughy concoction, but that is not all. While most people enjoy the feast, bakers preparing the popular Hanukkah treat pay the real price, often suffering from what is called "baker’s asthma."

Eli Beer, President and Founder of United Hatzalah said in response to a similar incident in the past:  “It is important to take care when feeding young children or older people sufganiyot, as these segments of the population have a higher risk of choking while eating and trying to swallow spongy foods such as sufganiyot."