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ER or Not: I Swallowed a Chicken Bone!

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ER or Not: I Swallowed a Chicken Bone!

Jul 08, 2021

Should you seek emergency help if you have somehow swallowed a chicken bone? On today's Health Minute, emergency room physician Dr. Troy Madsen tells you how to know if a trip to the ER is needed for a swallowed chicken bone.

Episode Transcript

Interviewer: Today, another edition of ER or Not, with Dr. Troy Madsen. You swallowed a chicken bone. Emergency room or Not.

Dr. Madsen: So you probably don't need to go to the ER if you swallow a chicken bone. So if you happen to swallow a chicken bone, you're probably going to be fine. The things you worry about swallowing are things that are really sharp or things that are really long. If they're sharp, they can puncture the intestines as they're working their way down. If they're really long, they may not even make it past the stomach.

You got to figure most chicken bones you swallow are probably going to be splinters off a chicken bone. It's probably going to pass with no problem. But if somehow you happen to swallow a chicken bone that's longer than say three inches or a really big sharp piece, that's probably a reason to go to the ER and get a specialist there to remove it from your stomach.

updated: July 8, 2021
originally published: October 6, 2017