A 94-year-old male asked:
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can you suffocate if you have a great deal of phlegm in your throat that your not able to cough up?

2 doctor answers
Dr. John Munshower
29 years experience Family Medicine
Possible: Increased amounts of phlegm/mucus could cause issues with breathing. For example, some people in the hospital setting for example with underlying emphysema or pneumonia, etc. May require suctioning of the mucus to prevent issues. If you are 94 and having increased mucus with trouble breathing, you should get checked by a dr. Asap. Best wishes.
Answered on Sep 28, 2016
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Dr. Ryan Phasouk
17 years experience Family Medicine
Yes: A large amount of phlegm, in the setting of decreased abilities to clear the phlegm (such as in certain neuromuscular conditions) can and has been known to lead to suffocation.
Answered on May 4, 2019
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