Huge yawn locks jaw, chokes man

November 19, 2007

A British man was rushed to the hospital after his monster yawn locked his jaw, blocking his ability to breathe or swallow.

Ben Shire, 34, was making a cup of tea to keep awake when he yawned, dislocating his jaw. He fell to the floor, unable to breathe or swallow, the Daily Telegraph reported. As he was choking on his own spit, Shire's wife called emergency services, which was able to resuscitate him by suctioning.

"We can laugh about it now, but it wasn't funny at the time," Shire, from Horsham, said. "I couldn't breathe because I was choking -- it felt like two fingers down my throat. The more I panicked, the more I struggled for breath."

Cases of jaws locking open mid-yawn are very rare, doctors said. Doctors advise people who do experience the problem to bend forward or lie on their side in the recovery position to let gravity ease the pressure, the British newspaper said.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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