Woman with Chicken Bone Stuck in Throat Dissolves It by Drinking Coke

A New Zealand woman who had a small chicken bone lodged in her throat claims that she was prescribed an interesting remedy by an emergency room doctor – lots of Coke.

Beth Brash recently sat down with New Zealand magazine Stuff to tell the unusual story of how she managed to get rid of the chicken bone stuck in her neck. It all started when she visited her favorite Wellington restaurant and tried their new chicken dish. To be fair, the staff there asked if she was ‘alright with bones,’ and having visited multiple countries where serving meat on the bone was considered normal, she wasn’t put off by it. Unfortunately, while eating the spicy dish, the young woman started experiencing a kind of tickling in her throat, which turned out to be a small piece of chicken bone.

Photo: Giovanna Gomes/Unsplash

Although alarmed by the sensation in her throat, Brash decided not to make a scene in the restaurant and even fought through the pain the entire weekend, assuming it would eventually go away. It didn’t, so she went to the emergency room first thing on Monday morning. She was informed that she did in fact have a small piece of chicken bone lodged in her throat, but the ENT [Ear, Nose and Throat] specialist told her that it wasn’t a cause for concern.

The spicy chicken aficionado was relieved to learn that her situation wasn’t serious, but she still expected to undergo an invasive procedure to have the bone removed. Instead, the ENT department simply advised her to drink four cans of sugary Coca-Cola to dissolve the piece of bone. She was surprised by the remedy, but she went to the supermarket and bought four Cokes. To her amazement, she started feeling better the next morning, and by the following day, she was already back to normal.

“That human Drano for your body for clearing it out, that corrosiveness, that’s what I found really interesting,” Brash said.

Photo: Louis Hansel/Unsplash

Dr. Bryan Betty, chair of General Practice New Zealand, told Stuff.co.nz that she had never come across this doctor-prescribed remedy before, but added that it is a known fact that Coke is an acidic drink that can even break down tooth enamel. It’s not exactly the kind of treatment a doctor would prescribe, but if it can prevent invasive procedures, then it’s worth a shot.

“If it avoided surgery or an endoscope or further procedure, it’s obviously done the job,” Betty said. “So you could say it’s reasonable advice that’s been given.”

Beth Brash herself conducted an experiment, leaving chicken bones in Coke for a few days and watching them break down, but there is also a UK study that suggests the fizzy drink could help dislodge bones from people’s throats by causing them to disintegrate.

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