When a fish bone is stuck in someone's throat, the Heimlich maneuver should be applied to dislodge the bone, home remedies attempted or an emergency room visited. Fish bones are often accidentally swallowed when a person eats a cut of fish in which small bones are still embedded. To avoid swallowing bones, experts recommend eating small bites and masticating each piece longer than usual to detect any bones in the flesh.
If the bone is large enough to prevent the person from drawing breath, emergency assistance is essential to remove the bone. However, fish bones are usually so small that they do not present an immediate health risk.
Step 1: Perform the Heimlich maneuver
If a person swallows a fish bone and chokes on it, another person should perform the Heimlich maneuver. The Heimlich maneuver is performed by wrapping the arms around the victim, making a fist with both hands and inflicting a quick thrusting motion between the victim's breast bone and belly button, according to WebMD. This forces air out through the mouth and expels the fish bone.
Step 2: Attempt home remedies
The most widely-recognized home remedy for dislodging a fish bone stuck in the throat, according to ER Centers, is to swallow a large piece of banana, a rice ball or marshmallows. The smooth surface of these foods aids in pushing foreign objects from the throat without becoming lodged themselves.
If none of these remedies works, it is vital to visit an emergency room or call 911 for assistance.