First Aid/aspiration pneumonia28


Hi  I was eating some cocoa powder and choked on some. I started coughing. Anyhow. Will I be all right?? Am I in danger of aspiration pneumonia? I am so scared right now I looked it up online . Is there a possibility?should I be checked out?

Thank you for your time .
Freaking out here so please reply.

Hello Anta,

Yes, aspiration pneumonia can be very serious, especially in people who already have serious medical conditions or are unconscious. Generally, in a relatively healthy person the body can recover from small amounts of powder or liquids such as water. What will likely happen to the cocoa is it will get caught in the mucus ligning in the upper airway and be pushed back up. If you develops a fever or breathing problems in the next week see your doctor but I would be very surprised if you had any serious problem from this exposure to cocoa.

Stay healthy,


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Marcus LaBarbera


I am available to answer most questions related to: first aid, pre- hospital medicine, EMT and Paramedic questions, medical transport, critical care transport, ICU/CCU care, sedation, and medicine in general.


I have worked as a NYS Paramedic since 1993 for both community based ambulance companies and large commercial agencies. I Have experience as bike team commander, and shift supervisor for a commercial ambulance. As a member of the Disaster team I was deployed to Louisiana for 20 days following hurricane Katrina. I worked along side the county Haz-Mat team as a "Tox-Medic" with advanced training in treating injuries from chemical agents. Besides my experience on the on the ambulance I have worked in a number of hospital based offices including dialysis and a sleep lab.

I started my EMS career as a NYS CFR (Certified First Responder)in 1989, an EMT in 1991, a Paramedic since 1993, and a CCU transport paramedic since 2005. I currently hold certification as a: NYS Paramedic, Critical Care Transport Paramedic, ACLS/CPR/PALS certified. Advanced Haz-Mat Life Support certified (AHLS). In the past I have taught CPR and ACLS to my coworkers and the local community.

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