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What was your experience with choking? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: painful , 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 30

I had a piece of candy corn and part of it lodged into my airway choking me. I started coughing and wheezing. When I was coughing forcefully, all of a sudden my upper back, shoulders and upper chest started burning and felt like someone was stabbing me with a million pins and needles. I actually stopped coughing and squeaked out ouch! I was almost afraid to continue coughing but I had to.

Comment from: Scrambledmeg , 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: September 28

Twice I've experienced choking, terrifying event. The second time I had a sip of water late at night. I sat up, had a small drink, when it went down the wrong pipe. I couldn't take in air. I couldn't cough, it's like my trachea seized up. I threw up a lot. I'm thinking it was because I was lying down and sat up abruptly to take a drink my esophagus wasn't ready. Maybe it was a panic attack. Terrifying. I'm 36, this has just recently happened to me. In the past I could cough.

Comment from: Bw, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 01

I was at a wedding and took a bite of beef, and it lodged in my throat. I started to choke and I alerted my husband who hit my back a couple of times, but that actually sent it farther down the wind pipe. I knew I needed the Heimlich maneuver and fortunately a young man saw my distress and started it. After 6 or 7 attempts I spit up some saliva and he thought I was good but I still couldn't breathe. He gave me a bunch more thrusts and as I felt like I was going to pass out, it finally dislodged! I thank that young man every day for saving my life. I was in good hands, there were 4 nurses, a doctor and a previous paramedic at the wedding so, they took care of me until the paramedics arrived and checked me out! I'm very sore around the ribs and chest, but I'm breathing! Scariest thing I've ever been through.

Comment from: Carolyne, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: December 07

I choke on liquid. It happens when I drink water and accidently turn my head prior to the last drop being swallowed. I have had mostly severe episodes. My air passages are completely blocked; I cannot inhale or exhale through my nose or mouth. The only method that helps is when my husband taps and sometimes pounds on my upper back between my shoulder blades. He also taps my upper chest and rubs my chest. This happens quite often; thankfully my husband has been nearby at each episode. If it were not for him, I know I would absolutely be gone. There is no way I could get myself out of this situation. There is absolutely nothing in my air passage. There are times when I cannot breathe for at least 7 or 10 plus minutes. At the end of this treatment I will start burping up a bit of liquid that stays in the air passage. It almost feels like burping after a swig of soda. There have been several times when my husband was about to call 911; so far he hasn't. I am unable to talk during this treatment, however I will pound on my shoulder hard to let him know to pound harder or, of course, motion for him to use the telephone. I know I would not be able to hold off for the medics to arrive! Thank goodness for my husband for he has saved my life even after waking him from a sound sleep; he knows exactly how to treat my condition! This is really scary stuff for both of us! We plan to take classes at our local Red Cross to help one another if and when instances like this occur.

Comment from: Sebsue, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: November 30

I often choke on water or liquid. Not usually on solid food. I cannot breathe through my mouth or nose. There is not much anyone seems to be able to do to help. I keep gasping for air and after, what seems like a long time but in fact is about 15 seconds, I slowly am able to take in air. It is very scary.

Comment from: Moana, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 07

I have severe pain in my inner wrists, and extreme burning sensation, when I choke.

Comment from: meah jones, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: June 19

I was attacked and choked until I passed out. I can breathe fine but I can't swallow or cough because it hurts too badly. I don't want to see a doctor because I can't afford it.

Comment from: Lee, 55-64 Male (Caregiver) Published: June 06

My boyfriend was eating eggs and toast and immediately I saw him take a bite and pass out. I didn't even see him cough or turn blue, he just passed out when he tried to swallow. He was out for maybe 15 to 20 seconds, went limp, then woke up and said I choked. I wonder what would cause this when there was no object, no coughing spell, nothing that seemed lodged in his throat but I guess there was, but I don't know why he passed out so quickly. Then it happened again a few years later. He does live alone and I do not know if it's happened to him before, but this last time he passed out the same way and it might have been even something he was drinking and he passed out. His right hand and arm shook for about 3 or 4 seconds and then he came to.

Comment from: Sand Dollar, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: October 05

I choked drinking a glass of water. This happened so fast I could not breathe at all, not even with my nose. I knew I was going to die. No time to call rescue. My husband quickly grabbed me up and took me to my CPAP machine, put it on me and thank goodness I was able to slowly able to breathe again. I know I wasn't going to breath on my own. The way it was I knew I would not be able to hold on for the medics to get me help! I thank my wonderful husband for life!

Comment from: menschwoman, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: April 28

My sister choked at a wedding reception. The first sign was saliva running out of the corner of her mouth. This is a sign of choking although you do not mention is here, as the victim cannot swallow their own saliva. The Heimlich maneuver was performed and her airway was cleared, thank goodness.

Comment from: ccdl78, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 29

What a harrowing choking experience I had a week ago. While taking my medications, I began choking on one of my pills. It felt like it was foaming up in my throat causing me to wheeze, cough and vomit. I was able to phone a friend for help who came right away and called the ambulance for me. I continued to vomit and cough on the way to the emergency room (ER). The vomiting helped clear my airway. I was given a gastrointestinal cocktail to help with irritated throat. They took an x-ray of my lungs to see if I had aspirated into them. X-ray was clear, but later that day and next morning I was coughing which has lasted the last 6 days. I've been coughing up phlegm and will see my primary care physician (PCP) for further evaluation and treatment. I hope I never experience that again.

Comment from: kmjones, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 29

Today my 15 year old son and I stopped for a piece of chicken. I took one bite of a chicken leg and I've no idea what happened exactly, but I was badly choking. I was crying and trying to tell my son to do the Heimlich maneuver. I couldn't breathe and truly thought I'd pass out. My son tried the maneuver but I don't think he did it hard enough (probably didn't want to hurt his mom). So then my son approached an employee for help. All she said was to tell me to raise my arms. That's it! There were 3 people together with that girl and not one offered to help or show any concern. So my son came back to me and I told him through my choking to hit me in the back, hard, he did that several times and I swallowed a little water and suddenly I could breathe again. Of course, I got foaming and vomiting but it eventually stopped. My son is my hero... poor kid. I am just really disappointed with the lack of help from the employees and from the numerous customers. I know my son felt helpless and alone.

Comment from: steve, 65-74 Male (Caregiver) Published: March 24

My husband recently started choking on liquids. I was told not to give liquid to him however that is all he asks for. I wonder if partly frozen water or slush would be okay.

Comment from: gamgam23, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 18

I have been choking on my own saliva where I am not able to breath and my whole body convulses in a sharp pain when I am trying to gasp for air. It happens almost every week.

Comment from: gail, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 02

My issue is not choking on food, but just simply choking on soup, water, and soda. I can be eating broth and it seems that it goes down wrong and causes me to not be able to get my breath or my speech. Sometimes scares me.

Comment from: Bobbiecinderee, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 10

I had a piece of chicken stuck in my throat! I was trying to cough it up and my pregnant daughter doesn't know the Heimlich maneuver. It was the scariest five minutes of my life trying to throw myself on a chair and on the edge if my kitchen countertop. I am so thankful I could dislodge the food without choking on some of my own vomit that made its way around the chicken caught in my windpipe!

Comment from: choking, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 24

I was driving to work today and started choking. Fortunately, the traffic was heavy and we were stopped. I could not get any air in and started to feel like I was going to pass out. I took a small drink of water and a tiny bit of air passed and I was able to start coughing. Eventually I was able to breath but with a hoarse raspy noise with each breath. Now I find my tongue is very sore and I am hardly able to talk or swollow. My voice is hoarse, I have a headache and feel nauseous. My wrists are extremely painful due me holding the steering wheel a bit tight. I have had a few choking episodes lately but this was the worst, maybe because I was in the car sitting and couldn't try to thrust myself against a chair or something to push the air out. I was so scared and am worried about it happening again.

Comment from: luckyme, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: October 12

I guess, at one time or another, we all have "thought" we were choking. Let me tell you how far wrong you are, last night I took my pills, and before I could get a sip of water to my lips, I choked! I knew what was happening, but I was helpless, and of course I was alone, what a fright. I gagged, I tried to cough, I tried to spit them up, nothing worked. My air supply was cut off! Panicked that I was going to die, right there in the bathroom with nobody around, I tried to clear the air pipe with my finger, maybe, just maybe I got a little opening, but I was gasping for air, needing a lot more than I was getting. I tried to call 911, but I could not speak. I got a little water in my mouth, hoping to wash the pills up or down, I had to have some relief, just a little better. Still gasping I went to the yard, called 911 again, and asked what emergency room was near me. They wanted to send an ambulance, but I knew that I had to move quicker, I got in my car, and drove to the emergency, still choking, but some relief. When I entered the doors, the staff saw my condition, and moved quickly, first to clear the airway, and second to calm me down. For what seemed like a long time, all I could do was spit up a film, which they said was normal. Then I returned to normal. I was finally discharged, but I was not about to go back home, alone. I went to an all-night cafe, and drank hot tea till dawn. This was a first, and I hope a last, but I have learned that there are things you can do for yourself, so I am studying the methods. I was lucky. I really thought that I was too young to die. The luck was that the pill that "stuck" in my air pipe, melted. Had it been food, I would have made the paper, as to a mystery death of a 73 year old man.

Comment from: justanothermom, 25-34 Male (Caregiver) Published: September 27

My son who has Down syndrome and autism was choking on a peach pit. He ate the entire peach. Tears were coming from his eyes and he couldn't seem to take a breath. I cleared the food from his mouth and back of his throat first;, then pounded on his back, between shoulder blades. He is very lucky to be alive. We live in a rural area, and it might be ten-fifteen minutes before an ambulance would get here.

Comment from: 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: July 06

I have GERD which has been progressing quickly and one of my most disturbing symptoms is choking. I choke on anything food, water or even just breathing sometimes. I have had a barium swallow and two endoscopies but several doctors cannot seem to find anything.

Comment from: Darlene, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 20

I have had (2) Nisse Fundoplication's; first one I was done in error and I almost died; second one was done but it's quite snug and I almost choked the other night, with froth foaming, etc., It was the most terrifying experience of my life. This is a condition, due to a doctor error that I have to live with the rest of my life with no recourse. I am very afraid too, because I am unable to vomit any longer because of this procedure, and if I ever get stomach sick, flu, or anything else which makes me want to vomit, I have to go to E.R. immediately. I am so frustrated over all of this, and absolutely nothing I can do about it.

Medically reviewed by Avrom Simon, MD; Board Certified Preventative Medicine with Subspecialty in Occupational Medicine


Centers for Disease Control. Choking Episodes Among Children.

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