Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Expert Forum
Food aspiration
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Food aspiration

I read on an earlier post that someone had aspirated a cheerio. The reply stated that the lungs can break down a cheerio.  Well, I took a quick, deep breath in and apparently there was still a piece of ground turkey in my mouth/throat.  I'm coughing after 30 mins and still have the burning/ tight sensation in my chest.

So my question is... How long should these symptoms last... AND can my lungs break up Meat?

Thank you for any enlightenment.
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Unfortunately, your lungs cannot “break-up meat” or, for that matter, other organic matter including vegetables and nuts.  Such aspirated material will, in many instances, not be visualized on a routine chest x-ray, an exception being bone.  If not coughed up within minutes to hours, such material may remain in your airway for months and may become a focus of infection, such as pneumonia and/or lung abscess, and a source of chronic cough.  If you are convinced that you have not cleared the turkey and, especially, if your symptoms continue by the time you receive this response you should definitely call your doctor or go to the nearest full-service emergency room (ER).  It may be necessary to physically remove the aspirated material with the use of a bronchoscope.

Good luck.
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