Episode 71 Choking on Food

Contributors: Marie Hunt and Dr. Emran from Simple Health Radio

On this episode of Simple Health Radio, Dr. Emran discusses a case involving a 45-year-old woman who had food lodged in her esophagus.

In this case, half an hour prior to the woman coming into the ER; she was out to dinner with her husband. She was talking, distracted and took her first bite of chicken. The piece was not chewed properly and essentially swallowed whole. As a result, it was wedged in her esophagus. She wasn’t blue in the face but she could barely speak and was drooling from the mouth.

The patient was immediately connected to an IV to keep her vital signs in good control and provide medications quickly. The patient was administered two muscle relaxers: Glucagon and Reglan. Fifteen minutes after the medication was administered, Dr. Emran gave the patient some Coca-Cola to sip on. After a few sips, the patient burped and the food dislodged from the esophagus and dropped directly into the stomach.

This particular situation went fairly smooth, however, in more serious cases and endoscopy is required.

Choking is the result of an object, food, or liquid becoming lodged in the throat. There are two openings in the back of the mouth: the esophagus, which is the pathway to the stomach and the trachea, which is the airway to the lungs.

Choking symptoms may include: coughing, gagging, wheezing, difficulty or inability to talk, passing out, and turning blue.

Most of the time a person may cough continuously until it is removed. Nevertheless, choking can be life-threatening and can cut off the air supply.

Dr. Emran strongly suggests that everyone is trained to do the Heimlich maneuver.  In any case, if you or someone you know is choking do not wait or drive them to the emergency room. Instead, it is best to call 911 emergency medical services.

 

References:

https://www.emedicinehealth.com/choking/article_em.htm#facts_on_choking

https://www.healthline.com/symptom/choking

 

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If you think you may have a medical emergency, call 911 immediately. Dr. Emran and
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