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Choking (cont.)

Choking Diagnosis

Life support to help the person breathe will be done by emergency personnel in the ambulance and at the hospital emergency department.

At the hospital, the doctor may perform several tests and procedures to find out what caused the choking and to make sure no other objects are blocking the airway.

  • X-rays are often helpful to find out why a person's airway may be partially blocked. Not all objects show up on X-rays, but if they do, they are called radioopaque. Radioopaque objects in the airway will easily be seen on chest or neck X-rays. Some examples are coins, tacks, and nails.
  • Bronchoscopy involves inserting a flexible fiberoptic scope into the airway (trachea) so that the doctor can look for any foreign bodies in the airway. If something is found, this scope also has attachments that the doctor can use to remove the object.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/13/2015

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