Ask McFartnuggets: “If You Choke to Death While Drinking Water is That Considered Drowning?”

Dear McFartnuggets: 
The other day I was drinking some water and I started choking on it. It went down the wrong pipe and I was literally choking for a few minutes. I was very scared and it felt like I was going to die. If I had died would that have been considered a drowning or just choking to death on water? -- Lisa from Madison, Wisconsin

Dear Lisa:
That’s a good question. I think it would ultimately be up to the coroner to decide. They would probably just label it as accidental asphyxiation. I doubt it would be considered choking to death on water just because that’s basically the definition of drowning. It is rare to drown on land, but not impossible. It would likely have taken more water than what you were trying to drink to get you to fully drown. That’s the reason you don’t hear about this happening very often. People rarely drink enough water to drown themselves. At worst they experience a sensation similar to a mild waterboarding. Thanks for the question!

If someone's choking on water, the Heimlich is useless. Go straight into mouth-to-mouth.

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