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Can you really swallow your tongue?

Updated: May 23, 2023

Why does this myth persist? I really can not understand it.

Once again a sensational news story, about a heroic footballer who "saved an opponents life" because he had swallowed his tongue.

This time from Portugals Primiera Liga where a goal keeper collided with the upright and appeared to be unresponsive. Yes, well done to the player who stopped to look after the victim but all that needed to be done, if he was breathing normally, was roll him onto his side until the medics arrived.

Reaching down someone's throat to pull out the tongue is unnecessary.

I can recall many similar stories from European football leagues in recent years which seams to give the practice "repetition credibility" which seems to have, once again returned this to standard practice among the public, for someone having a seizure.

Epilepsy peak authorities the word over agree on 2 key points in the case of a seizure:

DO NOT try to restrain the victim

DO NOT put anything in the victims mouth

It is not possible to swallow your own tongue.

Time the seizure and, when it has subsided enough, roll the victim onto their side.

Photo: fennec news

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