What Happens If You Swallow a Bone? (How To Face And Handle)

what happens if you swallow a bone

Swallowing a bone is strange but not uncommon. People, especially small children, are often caught in a fishbone or engulf solid bone accidentally.

Fish is an essential part of every cuisine whether it is grilled, fried, or steamed fish. Its rich flavor, nutritional value, and health benefits make it all-time favorite food. Though tastier, the risk factor due to their fishbone is higher which causes much trouble for the man. Bones of other animals also create problems but the risk factor is more in fishbone. People often ask:

What happens if you swallow a bone?

Swallowing of bone is not a big issue if it is not stuck, or painful. It is digested in the stomach from 24 hours to one week depending upon its density and size. In severe cases, it causes perforation, blockage, or impaction which can take you to the emergency center

Let’s see how different bones affect you in different ways.

What Happens If You Swallow a Bone

Eating fish and taking its soups is popular in every culture of the world. Many types of fish are commonly used as a daily meal in Thailand and other coastal areas. But if somebody accidentally suffers due to the bone stuck in the throat how can he get rid of this. 

Generally, these bones glide into the stomach, where strong acid melts them and gives minerals like calcium and collagen. In some cases, it creates big problems and medical emergencies.

What Happens If You Swallow a Bone From Salmon

A big dish with whole fish looks so nice and delicious but also riskier. In total bone sticking cases, fishbone sticking is very common. Out of many few fish that are very hard to debone is

  • Carp
  • Trout
  • Salmon
  • Pike 
  • Shade

When you face such a condition, be calm and cool. First, try to solve the problem at your home. For this, you should eat a big piece of banana,  morsel bread with butter or drink water. This will dislodge the spiky fishbone.

🔥Trending:  What Happens If Celiac Eats Gluten? The Risks and Consequences

If pain or tingling in the throat is severe, difficulty in eating, or pain while talking or moving your neck consult your physician.

What Happens If You Swallow a Bone fragment

A small bone or fragment of bone such as a fishbone or piece of chicken bone may stick in the throat and is very hard to see in bright light or X-ray. It hurt the back of the throat causing Pharyngeal Abrasion. You may feel continuous pain that something stuck into your throat

Use the following ways to comfort the throat.

  • Gargling with warm water
  • Use medicines like acetaminophen, naproxen ibuprofen to relieve the pain
  • Don’t give hard candies to children under the age of 4.

In case of temperature, chest pain, the inability of swallowing some things, increased pain with neck movement, and abdominal pain, seek a doctor. 

What Happens If You Swallow a Bone While Pregnant

White and red meat during pregnancy is beneficial for women. Sometimes during eating, if they engulf small pieces of bones, they become horrified. They fear, especially when they are pregnant for the first time, that this bone will hurt their baby.

Don’t panic, bone will slide down in your stomach not the womb. If someone is affected it is you because sometimes swallowing big and sharp bones will be harmful to your gastrointestinal tract.

There is nothing harmful in chicken and beef or goat bones that will not harm your baby. Instead, it gives you a lot of minerals and micronutrients after digestion.

What Happens If You Swallow a Fish Bone While Pregnant

Fishbone is always a risk for young or old to be stuck in the esophagus. During pregnancy, if you have experience eating fishbone try to take a big morsel of bread that can easily dislodge the hook of the fishbone. Your baby is quite safe and there is no risk of harming him. 

What Happens If A Baby Swallow a Fish Bone

Interesting research was done on emergency patients below 15 years, coming due to foreign body ingestion. The most commonly consumed foreign body(51.1%) in the children was fishbone.

A total of 416 patients were under observation. Out of 416, 245 were identified, and the fork fishbone is removed by endoscopy or laryngoscope.

Children between 4-7 are affected more than other age groups. Most patients reached an emergency within two hours of ingestion.

🔥Trending:  What Happens If You Swallow An Edible Whole? (Surprising Secrets U Should Know)

More than 82% complain about foreign body sensations and pain in the neck. While very few felt problems with eating and abdominal pain.

Older children express their symptoms and location of fishbone more precisely and more quickly. So their treatment is easier than those who could not explain properly (younger children below 2 years)

Age (year)No patients under 15%of total sick children
Above one year4811.5%
1-3    years9965%
4-5    years6515.6%
6-12  years17141.1%
13-15 years337.9%
Kind of Fish
Gizzard shad225.3%
Alaska pollock153.

In the above data 246 or 59.1 %  kind of fish is unknown. 

Time to Hospital Vist(h)

Less than 2 hours28769%
2-6 hours6215%
More than 24 hours122.9%


Foreign body sensation/pain in the neck34582%
Irritability/Poor Oral Feeding71.7%
Abdominal pain10.2%

What To Do If Baby Swallow a Fish Bone

If a baby engulfs a hook of fishbone by mistake, their food pipe is so delicate and narrow, pierced by the fishbone. Children could not explain even if their esophagus is badly hurt.

Most of the home remedies including coughing, drinking soda, drinking diluted vinegar, and eating bread will fail in the case of children because sometimes fishbone is going deeper and deeper.

The best solution is an ENT surgeon because he has all the equipment for the process. He throws light and deeply examines the throat and all the areas near it. If he could not find fishbone he further used endoscopy or laryngoscopy. In rare cases, surgery is used but it will be the last option.

What Happens If You Swallow a Sharp Bone

A sharp and big bone, more than 3cm, is very dangerous. If you accidentally swallow a sharp bone you feel strong pain in your throat. This may block the food passage. In severe cases, it can tear the soft lining of the esophagus and cause trouble in eating and drinking.

If it reaches the stomach and you feel no pain, you are lucky as it will digest in strong stomach acid or poop out through feces.

If pain increases, bloodstains in saliva, and chest or abdominal pain occurs, go to an ENT specialist.

What Happens If You Swallow a Lamb Bone

Small or blunted bone is generally digested and uneventfully passes through the alimentary canal within a week, but sometimes complications like impaction, rupture, and obstruction may occur. The occurrence of such problems is very rare. Only 1% of patients face the rupture or perforation of a food pipe or intestinal wall. 

🔥Trending:  What Happens If You Swallow Gum? [3 Possible Happenings]

What Happens If You Swallow a Pork Bone

These bones are famous as Stock bones. When pork is cooked for a longer time, its bones become soft. These are rich sources of minerals, calcium, and collagen. Its neck bones, when cooked at 200 degrees F become tender. Smoked neck at 150 degrees F, is very popular and its soft bones are equally eaten with delight.

If bones are not properly soft in cooking and accidentally enter your esophagus, it harms your throat. This will block GI passage and digesting in the stomach hardly. Sharp bone can perforate the intestine and soft part of the alimentary canal.

What To Do If You Swallow a Bone (12 Surprising Ways to Get Rid of sticking Bone)

  1. Marshmallows are wonderful if fishbones are stuck in the throat.
  1. It is suggested that soda bottles like Coca-Cola and other beverages containing carbonated water help dislodge the pointed and sharp object stuck in the esophagus.
  1. Take a sip of plenty of water at a time to lose the bone in the throat and way down the stomach.
  1. Bread with butter. Big morsels of bread with butter often dislodge the bone fragments.
  1. Use of Alka-Seltzer or baking soda.
  1. Use butter to make the food pipe oily and lubricant.
  1. If no pain, wait until digestion completely dissolves the bone or undigested bone expelled through the faeces.
  1. In the case of fishbone, examine the throat and tonsils. If a fishbone is visible, pick it out with forceps.
  1. Use of simethicone.

    10.  Swallowing rice or banana.

    11.   Coughing hard.

     12.  Use of vinegar

Frequently Asked Questions

Describe The Common Sites Where Fishbone is Mostly Stuck?

  • The base of the tongue
  • Tonsils
  • Pyriform of the fossa (both sides of the throat)
  • Esophagus (food tube) 

Is it Safe to Eat pork Neck Bone?

Pork neck bones contain small amounts of meat on them. When it simmered for a few hours, they were very delicious and rich in flavor to the broth and different sauces. Spaghetti sauce is one of the favourite dishes with bones and the tastiest food in the West.  

Bottom Lines

Beef broth and chicken soup are some famous and healthiest diets. But the bone which brings rich flavor to curry or broth accidentally enters the food pipe causing intense pain. If this bone is sharp, it may hurt the soft lining of the esophagus and intestine. Blockage of the intestine is another suffering caused by the bone. Though casualties are not found in medical history, people face health issues.

So be careful especially when eating fish because fishbone creates pain in the throat. Tonsils are the most common soft part of which the spiky shape of the fishbone entered.

We hope this article helps you understand how you can solve the problem of sticking bones in your throat. You can also guide the others at the time of trial. Share this information with others. 

James Randolph

Hey, James is here with you. This blog is a powerful online resource to help you get instant answers to your superstitious beliefs, facts, and the reality of myths. Knowledge is your inner guidance system, and this blog empowers you to update, refine, reorganize and enhance your communication system. If you know well you can surely discuss facts with evidence. So, stay with us and be a master of what happens around you!

Recent Posts