Removing a foreign object stuck in the throat of a choking person is no easy task. Popcorn shells are known to stick to the lining of the throat and, in occasional cases, they may even block your throat. It can be a terrifying experience for some.
Whilst coughing is the simplest way of dislodging any small object from the throat, the Heimlich maneuver (that powerfully expels air from the lungs and may also induce vomiting) may need to be used in case it gets lodged further and coughing does not help in its removal.
How To Get Rid Of Popcorn Shell Stuck In Throat?
Drink lots of liquids first. Start with one glass of water and see if it helps wash down the popcorn shell. In case it fails to work, you could try soda pop. At times, the fizzing action of soda helps to wash down the piece of popcorn; try something that is very frothy, like ginger ale; it will propel the popcorn shell in to the stomach.
- Experts also suggest eating something that will grab on to the popcorn shell if the liquids do not work. A slice of fluffy bread, a banana or a morsel of cooked, sticky rice will yield quick results. The popcorn shell will hold on to these foods and move down. Most of these will definitely grab on to the foreign object and help it slide down.
- Alternating coughing and swallowing will also help to dislodge the stuck popcorn shell / kernel from the throat.
- Some experts also recommend drinking a little bit of olive oil to extricate the stuck shell from your throat. You may also gulp egg yolk, which is slippery and removes the lodged popcorn shell effectively.
- If all these measures fail to work and you are feeling uneasy, you need to go to the emergency room or the nearest clinic immediately. Popcorn shells neglected and left in the throat can cause irritation, inflammation, swelling, swallowing difficulty, breathing difficulty and infections.
- Never leave the shell in, thinking that it will work its way out. Neglect worsens the situation. Manage the problem right away.
Treatment For Popcorn Shell Stuck In Throat
In case someone is choking over the popcorn shell, rush to him immediately; he will show bluish lips, wheezing or will place his hands on his throat as if he was choking himself to death. Call 911 immediately, if the victim is choking.
- Ask the person “shall I help you?” it is imperative that you ask the person for permission and receive permission. If you do not, you could be held liable for anything you do to the victim. If he agrees, proceed with the Heimlich maneuver.
- For the maneuver, you need to place yourself behind him and wrap your arms around his waist. Make a fist with your dominant hand. You have to place your fist on the person’s upper abdomen, i.e. above the navel and below the rib cage. With your other hand push upwards rapidly, in a propelling manner, towards the abdomen. Do not squeeze the ribcage. If it’s a child, do it even more gently. Repeat the thrusts till the foreign particle is expelled or the victim becomes unconscious. If he gets unconscious, you have to rush to the ER.
- Do not slap the victim on the back as this could aggravate the whole thing.