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Old 12-18-2009, 12:52 AM
Love Rhombus Love Rhombus is offline
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: The suburbs of Innsmouth
Posts: 4,434
What happens to food that goes down the wrong pipe?

We've all had a morsel go down the breather instead of the eater, but what happens to those cough-making bits?
Old 12-18-2009, 01:15 AM
fshdude fshdude is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 5
pretty sure cilia on the tissue or some crap like that bring it back up....

Last edited by fshdude; 12-18-2009 at 01:17 AM.
Old 12-18-2009, 01:22 AM
horsetech horsetech is offline
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: the far side
Posts: 729
Well, coughing itself helps expel some of it.

Macrophages in your lungs phagocytose foreign material, presumably including last night's dinner.

In a worst-case scenario, it makes some bacteria very happy and they sit down there in your lungs munching on your taco salad and getting bacterial heartburn (OK, I made that last part up), resulting in aspiration pneumonia.
Old 12-18-2009, 01:04 PM
Springtime for Spacers Springtime for Spacers is offline
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 1,776
Only yesterday I was reading this story (with a happy ending) about a baby who aspirated a peanut.

Eventually, doctors located the peanut in George's lungs.
Dave said: "The nut hadn't decomposed because there is no acid, like in the stomach, to get rid of it. It became a breeding bed for bacteria. It wasn't a very graceful surgery, and they had to wait until he was stable enough to put a metal device down his already inflamed throat. Once it was out, they still had to deal with the infection.
So, ouch, the worst case scenario is bad.

Last edited by Springtime for Spacers; 12-18-2009 at 01:05 PM. Reason: rewording
Old 12-18-2009, 01:13 PM
pan1 pan1 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 845
Either you cough it back up or it stays there. If it stays there it can get ugly - as mentioned.
Old 12-18-2009, 01:13 PM
Harmonious Discord Harmonious Discord is offline
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Wisconsin USA
Posts: 16,843
It can trigger an autoimmune response such as this case of pig brain mist being inhaled by processing workers.
Old 12-18-2009, 08:43 PM
madrabbitwoman madrabbitwoman is offline
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Aussie
Posts: 1,784
My personal story (some ickyness involved)

Last year ( few days after Christmas) I inhaled something - couldn't cough it up and I was REALLY trying I was even vomiting.
Fast forward to new years eve - I have been coughing steadily since the inhalation. I'm out with friend on a house boat and we are going down the river and I'm coughing my heart out - suddenly cough cough sploooork: a big gob of greeen goo containting a one winged fly
An hour later I coughed up the other wing.

I am now P.A.R.A.N.O.I.D about inhaling stuff
Old 12-18-2009, 08:47 PM
Musicat Musicat is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Sturgeon Bay, WI USA
Posts: 19,971
Originally Posted by madrabbitwoman View Post
My personal story... and I'm coughing my heart out - suddenly cough cough sploooork: a big gob of greeen goo containting a one winged fly
An hour later I coughed up the other wing.
That'll teach you to eat fast food. No more lunches on the fly, eh?
Old 12-20-2009, 02:15 AM
T. Slothrop T. Slothrop is offline
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 623
The other half of the story, or perhaps the story from the other half of the family:

In Korea I had this one young Sergeant who got a call from his wife that his son was choking and she was taking him to the hospital. He gets no more word from her and no more sleep for the next three days. There were no cell phones in those days so she could't call him from the hospital. It turned out that the boy had inhaled a peanut and they got it out somehow.


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