The throat is a vital passageway. Not only is it a part of the respiratory system, but it also plays an important role in food and liquid consumption, connecting the mouth to the esophagus. Given its significance, there can be major consequences when a foreign body becomes stuck in the throat. In addition to choking, which occurs when an object is lodged in the airway, there is also a risk that the item will become embedded in the gastrointestinal tract — a situation that may or may not require surgical intervention. For these reasons, having a foreign object in the throat always constitutes a medical emergency.
1. Who is at the Greatest Risk of Having a Foreign Object in the Throat?
The risk of having foreign bodies in the throat is highest among children under the age of four. Ultimately, this is due to their tendency to explore the world by placing small items such as foods or toys into their mouths; inevitably, this carries with it a risk of inhaling or swallowing the object.
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