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.


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?!

In the European Union each year, an estimated 2,000 children (14 years or younger) choke on a toy.[Ref:34]