Sometimes portions of food, or foreign bodies of various sorts, become lodged in the throat in such a way as to produce interference with respiration by choking. The head should be held low, and an effort should be made to remove the obstruction with the finger. The advice "to go down on all fours and cough" is excellent. The plan usually followed by mothers in case of choking in children, holding the head down, and striking the back vigorously, is a good one. Pressing upon the Adams apple, will sometimes cause an obstruction to be expelled. When a body becomes lodged in the gullet, much difficulty is sometimes experienced in dislodging it. It is sometimes necessary to pass an instrument down the throat for the purpose. What is known as the bristle probang, shown in Fig. 387, is the best instrument for this purpose.

Fig. 387. Bristle Probang for Clearing Obstruction in Throat.

Fig. 387. Bristle Probang for Clearing Obstruction in Throat.

Very small fish-bones can usually be dislodged from the throat by swallowing some rather hard food, as crackers or a crust of bread coarsely chewed; but when larger bones are caught in the throat no attempt should be made to push them down, as is often done. They should be removed from above by a surgeon.