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Swallowed a piece of corn. Feeling discomfort in lungs. What should I do?

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Critical Care Specialist
Practicing since : 1992
Answered : 1663 Questions
I swallowed a piece of corn. I got choked swallowing it with more food. I tried coughing and gagging but still feel it is in lung. I don't need to cough but keep on trying to get it out. I'm panicking and 45 minutes away from good hospital. What do I do? YYYY@YYYY
Posted Sat, 9 Feb 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Sadiq Mughal 2 hours later

Thanks for writing to us. Please do not panic.

Foreign body in respiratory tract is a medical emergency and needs to be dealt as quickly as possible. You have done the right thing, that is you are on way to the Hospital. Rush to Hospital as fast as you can. Don't cough any more, the corn may get displaced from a place where it is to a more vital place like glotic opening and may totally block the air entry. Since you are able to write the question, I presume the corn has not got stuck at a vital place. At hospital, an ENT surgeon will be able to remove it by a small procedure called Bronchoscopy. On the way to hospital, if somebody is accompanying you, instruct him or her, in case of severe difficulty in breathing to give a big blow at your back at interscapular region. Rush fast to hospital.

Hope this answers your question.
Take care.
Dr Sadiq
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