Partial Obstruction

When a foreign body causes partial obstruction, the Heimlich maneuver should not be performed.

Instead, the choking victim should be brought right away to the hospital. If the foreign body is plastic or metal, bringing a duplicate might doctors determine which forceps will work best for the extraction.

Airway

An inhaled object may become stuck above, between or below the vocal cords.

This causes a violent coughing fit, that lasts at least one minute.

Most commonly, the object flies all the way down the windpipe (trachea), into the bronchi.

Swallowing Passage

When an object lodges in the swallowing passage, the victim gags, retches and may vomit.

The victim might have a mild “throat-clearing” cough, but not a violent coughing fit.

Throat pain is felt with each swallow. This pain may radiate to the ear(s).

Did You Know?!

The presence of older siblings in the household increases the risk for choking, possibly because toys and other objects with small parts are more likely to be present and caregiving activities, such as feeding, to be undertaken by older siblings.[Ref:1676]