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(34,156 posts)
Tue Feb 2, 2021, 11:07 PM Feb 2021

I called 911 for the first time tonight

My husband was fixing his salad while we talked about the day and what will happen tomorrow. Somehow he inhaled a piece of bacon. While he could pull in air, his throat was spasming and he couldn't seem to breath normally. He was making horrible gasping noises and finally had to sit and looked as though he might fall to the floor. A Heimlich maneuver was not the answer since his throat was not blocked.

So I called 911. By the time they answered and I talked to the woman for a minute, his breathing had gotten better and he did not want an ambulance to come. I told the operator that he was OK and we disconnected. Then the emergency system called back. My husband spoke to them and they recommended that an EMS team come out to check him, so he agreed.

The team arrived about a half hour later, checked his BP, blood sugar, pulse oxygen, and listened to his lungs. Everything was fine - in fact his blood sugar was a fantastic 76! We talked for a few minutes (it must have been a slow night but I also think it is part of their evaluation) and then they went on their way.

While the EMS visit was really unnecessary, at our ages (he just turned 69) it's good to know that if something goes wrong they are on call. By the way, I asked about insurance or payment - if they don't transport a patient, there is no charge.

I'd called the Sheriff's Department non-emergency number in the past, I never had a situation that needed 911 - before. At least this time it turned out fine, though my husband's throat is still a little scratched feeling.

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The Velveteen Ocelot

(117,206 posts)
2. Sounds like a laryngeal spasm or laryngospasm.
Tue Feb 2, 2021, 11:12 PM
Feb 2021

I've had it a few times and it's frightening, but it goes away pretty fast on its own. You have to try to relax and breathe through your nose. It can be triggered by various things but when I've had it, it was caused by inhaling a bit of liquid, and instead of just coughing my vocal cords closed. That's probably what happened to your husband.



(34,156 posts)
4. Yes, I think that is what the EMS said
Tue Feb 2, 2021, 11:27 PM
Feb 2021

I was just a bit flustered so didn't catch everything.

I went through a period when I was getting them but it seemed to be a slight allergic reaction to food from a specific restaurant since it only happened there.

In my husband's case, I will have to be sure to not talk to him while he is eating, LOL!


(22,745 posts)
13. I'm guessing that the EMTs followed up
Wed Feb 3, 2021, 02:11 AM
Feb 2021

because of the possibility that it might have been an allergic reaction.

If you have had an allergic reaction at a restaurant that caused your throat to tighten up, maybe you should look into what you ate that might have been the culprit. Maybe get some allergy tests. If a food causes that kind of reaction, it's not the restaurant. It's the food. A reaction like that could be worse the next time you eat whatever it was.


(17,611 posts)
5. Whew, I know how frightened you must have been. So glad everything is back to normal.
Tue Feb 2, 2021, 11:45 PM
Feb 2021

Glad you called them, always better safe than sorry!


(34,156 posts)
6. Yes, it was frightening
Wed Feb 3, 2021, 12:11 AM
Feb 2021

Especially since as far out as we are, it takes a good amount of time for any service to get here. If his breathing had been completely blocked, an ambulance could not have arrived in time.

My reaction is also overlayed with guilt. Several years ago my husband complained of a stomach ache the night before Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving morning it got much worse. I asked if he wanted me to take him to the emergency room and he just growled at me to leave him alone. Days later when I finally took him to the doctor because he was no better, it turned out that his appendix had burst and he had an abdomen full of inflection. After three days in the hospital and ten days with drains coming out of him, he was finally well.

At least now I know I am shit as a human nurse - I took better care of my horses than I did of my husband. It's a good thing that he basically has an iron constitution or I'd be a widow by now.


(23,713 posts)
7. I had to do the Heimlich on my mother once at a family dinner.
Wed Feb 3, 2021, 01:04 AM
Feb 2021

I heard her say, "I'm choking," and that was the last sound she uttered. I got up, got behind her, and yanked her out of her chair; did about a dozen abdominal thrusts before the mushrooom in her throat dislodged and flew out across the table. Six other people at the table beside her and myself, and four of them never knew anything happened until it came out. At the time, I didn't think anything about it--it was only after the meal that it sank into me how scary it was.

You done good!


(34,156 posts)
8. Thanks - it was scary!
Wed Feb 3, 2021, 01:36 AM
Feb 2021

I knew the Heimlich wouldn't help since his airway was not blocked but I couldn't figure what was going on. Besides, I am not sure I could have given it high enough on his body or even reached around his body to attempt it.

Good for you for saving your mother!


(51,988 posts)
9. I called 911 by accident...
Wed Feb 3, 2021, 01:50 AM
Feb 2021

I meant to call 411 for information so I hung up before they answered when I realized my mistake. Then I went to the grocery store. When I came home I found out that the police tried to call me but I had already left and my friend was asleep in the bedroom. The police banged on the door, waking him up and alarming him (he answered the door naked since he sleeps that way). They thought he had harmed me and wanted to know where the female who made the call was. I don't know how they got past the front gate and were able to reach my door.


(7,585 posts)
10. Sounds like he aspirated a bit of food into his lungs.
Wed Feb 3, 2021, 02:03 AM
Feb 2021

This has happened to my elderly mom once - she inhaled a bit of spaghetti because she was breathing through her mouth while she ate and not chewing properly. It's not the same as choking, but it's quite distressing. In her case, she was coughing huge amounts of mucus and spitting it out as her body tried to flush it. The first time she actually went to the ER (way before Covid) and she just had to lie there for a few hours and be supervised while it dissolved on its own.


(34,156 posts)
12. I think he just got it in as far as his epiglottis and it started the spasming
Wed Feb 3, 2021, 02:09 AM
Feb 2021

But one of the reasons I wanted the EMTs to check him out was if he had aspirated the bit of bacon. The thing is, we don't normally have bacon bits, but a friend of his got a couple of pounds of them from the food bank so was handing out some of it.


(9,777 posts)
14. Really glad you called 911, just to play it safe.
Wed Feb 3, 2021, 02:14 AM
Feb 2021

I live in a gated, over-55 community, so the fire department is in here a lot.

More than once I've run to a neighbor's house when the fire department has shown up. Once they are done making sure the person is okay, they never fail to ask if they can help do something around the house. I've seen them take out the trash, hook up telephones that aren't working, you name it. They want to make sure the elderly folks in here are safe.

I live in a fire prone area. We treat the fire department like they walk on water. They are our heroes 24/7, 365 days a year. We love them!

They are invited to our Fourth of July festivities every year. In fact, they lead the parade in a fire truck. We do a big breakfast for them once a year. People are always taking goodies over to the fire houses.
(Of course this was all during normal times!)


(9,592 posts)
16. Keep an eye on him, and if he develops a constant cough
Wed Feb 3, 2021, 01:45 PM
Feb 2021

have him checked. We almost lost my granddaughter when she was two, weeks after she inhaled a peanut. It was infected in her lung.


(34,156 posts)
17. Yes, that is my big worry now
Wed Feb 3, 2021, 02:09 PM
Feb 2021

But this morning he says he just has a little bit of a sore throat and he sounds hoarse. He's already worked at moving stuff around the house so he is stressing his lungs some. I will keep a close eye on him. Thanks!

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