Story By: Jonathan Macias, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
These videos show Colombian high school students playing a deadly “choking game” which involves putting a youngster in a tight headlock until they pass out – and doctors warn it can lead to brain death.
The video recorded in the Colegio Oficial Tecnico de Comercio school in the city of Barrancabermeja in the department of Santander in northern Colombia shows how students are choking each other to the point of fainting in a game called ‘Deadly Hold’.
The game, also seen by some as a challenge, is played by girls and boys alike who are seen fainting in the arms of their classmates.
Students in the school told Colombian news programme ‘Noticias Caracol’ the challenge is known as ‘Llave Mortal’ (Deadly Hold) and a lot of students play it.
Doctor from the Hospital of Magdalena Medio in Barrancabermeja Luis Ospino told local media: “The brain stops receiving oxygen and glucose, then the loss of consciousness occurs first, and if the fainting lasts very long, they can start losing neurons. Part of the brain can die.”
Reports said at least 50 students are believed to have participated in the challenge although none of them have been reported injured.
According to the school, they will be holding a general meeting with all the students to inform them about the possible consequences of the dangerous challenge.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States reported the deaths of 82 people between the ages of six and 19 from 1995 to 2007 linked to the choking game. A majority of the victims were male teenagers.
Teenager Mason Bogard died playing the game last May 2019 in Evansville in the state of Indiana in the United States.
His mother Joan Jackson Bogard told local media: “We will not have the opportunity to experience so many things with our child because of a stupid challenge on social media.”
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