Swallowed Object Treatment
Call 911 if:
- The airway is blocked or partially blocked
- The person cannot breathe or talk
1. If Airway Is Blocked
2. If Airway Is Partially Blocked
- Encourage the person to cough to dislodge swallowed object.
- Do not perform Heimlich maneuver, thump the back, or attempt to remove object.
3. When to See a Doctor
See a doctor immediately if:
- The person has swallowed a battery. See Battery Ingestion Treatment.
- The person may have swallowed something poisonous. See Poisoning Treatment.
- The person swallowed a sharp object or something metal.
- The object may be stuck in the esophagus.
- The person is coughing, wheezing, or vomiting.
4. Follow Up
If you see a doctor, follow-up will depend on the type and location of the swallowed object and severity of symptoms.
- The doctor may order X-rays to locate the object in the body.
- The doctor may try to remove it.
- In most cases, swallowed objects pass through the system without causing injury or requiring surgery.
If you do not see a doctor after an object is swallowed or if your doctor asks you to:
- Check stools for the object.
- Call doctor if the object doesn't show up in stools within seven days.