Chew, then swallow.

I am a big fan of 'I Love Lucy' it is simply...great. In one episode, in an attempt to buy time, Lucy advises her three besties to chew their food 25 times before swallowing. Her time wasting was futile, of course, but the advice wasn't half bad.

We were called to a guy who was throwing up blood. We arrived, and he was right in the front room. He looked up from a small trash can and said, "I'm throwing up blood." and before I could inquire further, he proved it by spraying bright red blood all over the interior of the can. "Well, yes you are. Can you walk outside with us?"
He followed us to the ambulance where the plot thickened. He had been eating steak when suddenly he got a sharp pain in his chest and began throwing up bright red blood. Without any other associated symptoms or history, (allegedly not a drinker) I was puzzled.
So, we did what we do best and took him to the hospital.

I got a rare follow up on this patient. In the OR, they put a really fancy cam down his esophagus and just above the stomach they were met with a big hunk of steak that had taken a little rest stop. They couldn't get it to go in any logical direction, so they actually had to cut him open to remove the meat.

Can you believe that?! As interesting as it is to find a third exit for your steak, or as clever as it seems to save some for later like a hamster, I'd avoid this situation.
Lucy was right, chew at least 25 times before swallowing. It will save you an overnight stay in the hospital and the recounting of an embarrassing story. At least, more embarrassing than buying the wrong theater tickets.

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