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British Lung Foundation
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Neck and Chest CT scan - aspirated food

Hello all,

I hope you are all feeling okay today. I have a question that will probably sound ridiculous but here goes...

Three months ago I inhaled a piece of sausage. I have had many occasions since where I've felt like I cannot get enough air, a burning chest, low oxygen sats. I have to cough up the sausage from my lungs every morning and it gets stuck at my vocal chords. When it drops back down my chest burns and my temperature goes up to 38. I've been to A&E twice and they've turned me away telling me I have reflux (I had a clear chest xray right at the start of all this nonsense(. I most definitely do not have reflux and I know 100% that this piece of meat is stuck, moving up my trachea from my lungs. It's obviously too big to come out. I;ve had an intermittent stridor and you can hear it rattling.

Anyhow, after being turned away by the NHS and in sheer desperation - I ended up resorting to spending the Christmas money I'd put aside on seeing a private ENT consultant who has ordered a CT scan. I think I should have booked to see a respiratory doctor. Anyhow...

I have heart arrythmia and loads of allergies, as well as hashimotos so I don't fancy the dye.

Please can anyone tell me the effectiveness of a neck and chest CT scan without the dye, and whether it is likely to pick up the sausage? It moves around and lodges in my lungs/trachea/larynx.

I know all this sounds ridiculous, but it's really made my life a misery over the past few months because I've felt like noone's been listening to me. I don't feel able to take the risk of the dye at this time and it's giving me severe anxiety at the thought of having it.

I wish someone would just do a bronchoscopy and take the sausage out. I know this sounds sos tupid compared to what most of you are going through and I am so sorry for such a ridiculous sounding post. I'm just really frustrated and upset and feeling in utter despair.

Thank you :)

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Not sure what to say to this! I didn't know it was possible to 'inhale a sausage'? How did you manage to do that? It's not possible to have a piece of meat stuck in you for more than a few hours coz your body will deal with it by breaking it down so it can pass through your gut and out.

It is possible to have metal or some other such object stuck inside you and this would need to be taken out surgically.

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I was eating and I aspirated it. Went down the wrong way. It’s definitely not in my throat. It’s stuck in my lungs/trachea. I literally don’t know how I managed this but it’s making me feel really ill. I’ve actually coughed bits up three times which were 100% burnt sausage, but the rest is just stuck in there somehow. 🤷‍♀️

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I can imagine how frustrated and worried you must be. How big was the piece? There's no Cid in the airways to breakdown this kind of food so I guess it would stay there. I'm no medic but imagine it can only be in the airways, too big to get through them to the lungs. I'd be worried about it turning bad & causing an infection, I expect you are too.

Drink plenty of fluids to keep everything moist. Have a look on YouTube for Huffing Tecnique and any other ways of expelling it with breathing exercises. Good luck with CT scan.

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Hi I have a sliding hiatus hernia and your symptoms sound like what I have hope this helps

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Me too. For me the term is silent reflux as I don’t get the usual symptoms. There is evidently a link between asthma and reflux, it’s all connected somewhere, someway I reckon.

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It’s not ridiculous! It sounds horrible. I don’t have any answers but just wanted to wish you all the best. Hopefully the scan will show up something so that it can be sorted out quickly.

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Have you seen your GP about this? Inhaling a food substance can cause all sorts of problems. Did they xray you at the hospital. If they did not it is blatant neglect. You really should see a respiratory consultant sooner rather than later. ENT specialists concentrate on just that and this substance is down in your lungs somewhere, not in your nasal passages..Die is used in the ct scan when they want to look in the blood vessels. This doesn’t apply to you and so they should be able to see what they are looking for without it. I always refuse it. ( I have bronchiectasis).

Please go to your GP and get them to take it seriously.

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I’ve just been to the GP about this for the 7th (you read right) time about this and broke down in tears. Finally he agreed to ring respiratory directly to see if they can get me into a clinic this week. It really should not have come to this ☹️I feel so cross and upset about it all. And to be turned away from a and e twice because I am not in respiratory distress is a joke. Have lost faith in the nhs over all this ☹️thank you for your advice regarding the ct scan. I wasn’t sure because the x Ray didn’t pick it up x

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You are so right to be cross and upset. The whole thing is disgraceful. Why don’t they listen to patients! You know that you inhaled something and you know that something is stuck in there.

I do hope that you finally get to the bottom of it .

Don’t forget that if a cyst or a bad chest infection comes as a result of the substance being ignored by both the hospital and the GP there is a complaints process and you also have an MP.

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Thank you for your support. I’m fed up of doctors not listening. For years I was told my palpitations were anxiety until finally they were caught on a monitor and I was found to have the rarest form of svt.

I will most certainly bear that in mind, thank you x

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I think because I’ve not got an absolutely raging infection everyone thinks it’s okay! Or that it is such an unbelievable story that it can’t be possible. Humph. X

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Hello Jellybelly2016 .

Surely not the whole sausage? I am assuming it's a bit of sausage?! 😧 They need to ascertain where the sausage is exactly in order to decide how to get it out. I am assuming the doctor has a good idea of where it is. They can't get it out without finding it's exact location. A bronchoscopy isn't pleasant as you may know and they won't do it until they are sure exactly where to look. I think you have done the right thing getting the scan. Hang in there. I hope it all comes right very soon.

Very warm wishes,

Cas xx 🙋🐕

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Thank you Caspiana. It was a bite of sausage and the problem is it’s actually moving about rather than being lodged in one place. I cough it up every morning but can’t get it past my larynx. It’s the most bizarre situation. My gp has finally referred me to respiratory urgently so hopefully they take it seriously rather than laughing it off xx

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Hmmph!!! 😡 It's no laughing matter. I hope you get it out soon Jellybelly2016 . Please will you let us know? xx 🙋

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Morning I know what you are saying and feeling your. Very worried I have something called nutcracker which gives me none cardiac pain ( NCP ) every time I eat it feels like it’s gets stuck what it is my oesophagus and muscle goes in to spasm which is when I get the pain very rare so they don’t look for it I’ve had Botox injections in the muscle and take acid suppressants to cope so don’t eat very much hope this gives you some ideas

Take care

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How awful for you, many years ago I got a bit of peanut stuck in the bottom of my throat and my gp sent me to the hospital, they in turn sent me home without even looking into it, telling me not to waste their time. A couple of months later on holiday in Corfu I had a terrible pain in my back which felt like a heart attack and the doctors there took it seriously, this left me with an infection which lasted weeks. Sometimes food can go down the wrong way and should be removed if it wont pass on its own. You know your own body and they should listen to you. I do hope you get this sorted and soon. Irene x

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Thanks so much Irene x I can’t get over the arrogance of some doctors, I’ve never had this awful experience before. I finally got an appointment with respiratory ontne 29th and in the meantime I’ll hope I don’t get more and more ill. Lots of good health to you x

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Best wishes to you, keep us updated on your progress and try not to let it worry you too much, you have your apointment on 29th, just impress on them just how worried you are and you want it checked xx oh! by the way I have had a ct scan with the dye and its nothing just makes you feel like you want to wee x

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Sounds ghastly I hope the scan shows where it is.Why are you so worried about the dye this would be the quickest way of diagnose . I suspect it wouldn't show up on x-ray being meat but the dye would show it up.

Glad you are getting a scan...sorry the NHS has let you down.

Best luck.

Ragrug

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Thanks very much rag rug. I’m reluctant to have the dye because I know it’s there floating around and I have a load of allergies and don’t fancy having another ridiculous reaction if I don’t have to x

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Jellybelly,it is quite possible that a burnt piece of sausage could have scarred or irritated your esophagus giving you the impression that there is still something logged in your upper airways,only a scan or endoscopy would determine that but is highly unlikely that you would have aspirated something 3 months ago and not either broken the substance down within your body or suffered serious infection by now.i know something on the signs and symptoms of silent aspiration having nursed a stroke sufferer with similar complications.i hope you get it resolved soon.

Best wishes Ski's and Scruff's x

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Thank you so much everyone. I wish you all a lovely Christmas and new year xxx

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Thank you 🎄 Wishing you a lovely Christmas too. Please let us know how you get on with your appointment. Hopefully this will all get sorted out for you soon. Take care of yourself ☃️🎁🎅

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Hi everyone,

I hope you are all having a lovely festive break.

I have been suffering with this aspirated food which has been causing chest pain, restricting my breathing and giving me low oxygen sats.

I just had my respiratory appointment. It was an absolute farce. Before I even sat down the consultant said ‘I don’t think I need to see you. This is not a respiratory issue!’ To which I said yes it absolutely is and could he please hear me out. Told him all my symptoms and was told it’s virtually impossible to have food stuck in trachea. I have multiple pieces of evidence to support that it is stuck in there.

Last night I had air and raspy noises coming from the depths of my lungs and when I rolled over in bed I could feel the air moving around.

The doctor asked ‘have you considered the possibility that this is all in your head?’. I had to bite my tongue at that.

When I asked about Bronchoscopy I was told it’s risky and without a ct they won’t do one. He told me 1 in 100 people die. Is that true?!!!!

So now I await my ct. and that’s another arrogant doctor who thinks he knows everything and is not prepared to listen to a patient or take them seriously.

I’m so upset and angry. God only knows what state my lungs are in. ☹️

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I am so sorry the doctor was such a... trying to think of a word here. Uncaring person. Unprofessional. What is with doctors who say it's all in the head. I've had doctors say that to me on two separate occasions and both times I've later ended up being rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery, by which time things were much more serious than they needed to have been. Good for you for persisting. When will your CT scan be?

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Thank you HufflePuff. I just feel so cross. I know it’s not all in my head. And now he has told me a Bronchoscopy has a mortality rate of 1 in 100 he has really put the wind up me!

I believe my CT scan is on the 11th Jan. and he said I shouldn’t need the dye x

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Ps I’m sorry to hear of your previous experiences, that’s absolutely disgraceful. It does make you more skeptical doesn’t it x

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Thanks. It is so disheartening when doctors trot out the "all in your head" line. I don't know the facts about bronchoscopy so I can't offer any advice about the mortality rate. But even if the doctor is correct, presenting it as a reason to not have the procedure isn't helpful. Many procedures carry great risk but this is outweighed by the benefits. I'm pretty sure there'll be people here who've had a bronchoscopy, you could try searching and ask them, but I think skischool had it recently though I could be mistaken (apologies Sirski if so) Wishing you all the best 🤞

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Omg that sounds awful I know exactly how you feel as I've been unwell since my accident in October and it left me with server whiplash. I know suffer with chronic reflux so the doctors say which I've never suffered in my life but I have had a endoscopy which was all normally but my mri showed a mild loss of cervical lordosis with a small diffuse disc bulge. Apparently physio will be able to improve so I can't wait to start. My concern is why am I left with this awful chest neck pain every time I eat I've been on ranitidine for 4 days because lansoprozale made no difference I'm on my 3rd bottle of gaviscon. I hope your situation gets resolved soon as I know exactly how you feel 😓

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