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How to remove a fishbone stuck in the throat

Updated February 21, 2017

Accidentally swallowing a fishbone is one drawback to eating freshwater and a few salt water fish. Since fresh water has less buoyancy than saltwater, freshwater fish such as perch and trout do not have the same body structure as saltwater fish. The skeletons of freshwater fish are made up of hundreds of tiny bones. Take care when eating freshwater fish to avoid swallowing a bone. Seek medical attention as soon as possible after swallowing a fishbone, particularly if your throat is bleeding.

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  1. Try home remedies only if you are unable to get to a doctor immediately. An old remedy for removing a fishbone stuck in the throat is to eat a mouthful of marshmallows. Marshmallows have a thick, spongy texture and when chewed become sticky. Swallowing a few will sometimes take the fishbone down along with them.

  2. Place as many marshmallows straight from the bag into your mouth as you can comfortably chew. Chew the marshmallows just enough to make them sticky so you can swallow them without choking. After the marshmallows have cleared the oesophagus, determine if the fishbone is still stuck in the throat. If so, repeat with another mouthful of marshmallows.

  3. Eat a peanut butter sandwich or chew as many nuts as you can swallow without risking them scratching your throat. Even when fully masticated, the texture of peanuts, pecan, walnuts, and almonds remain coarse. This roughness sometimes loosens the fishbone. Wash the nuts down the throat completely with water or other drink before a making a second attempt.

  4. Fill your mouth with as much dry bread, such as sliced bread, cornbread, hard rolls, or whole wheat bread as you can comfortably swallow. Chew the bread only long enough to provide enough moisture so it will pass through the throat without choking you. Repeat if necessary, however, drink something first to clear the throat.

  5. Warning

    Never stick anything down your throat to remove a fishbone. If, after trying a few home remedies and the bone remains stuck in the throat, you should see a doctor. If, after using a home remedy, you no longer feel the fishbone in your throat, watch for any unusual pain or bleeding in the throat later.

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Things You'll Need

  • Bag of marshmallows
  • Nuts
  • Dry breads
  • Peanut butter
  • Water or some other drink



About the Author

Ernestine Hill

Ernestine Hill has been a writer for more than 20 years and has authored travel articles, a suspense novel, computer application articles, appliance reviews and original recipes. Hill periodically writes for various websites and has published in the "Kansas City Kansan" newspaper. Hill attended the University of Houston and Southern Methodist University.

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