Question: How Serious Is Aspiration Pneumonia?

Is aspiration pneumonia life threatening?

Aspiration pneumonia is a lung infection caused by inhaled oral or gastric contents.

It can become serious if left untreated.

Treatment involves antibiotics and supportive care for breathing.

Most people (79 percent) will survive aspiration pneumonia..

How is aspiration pneumonia treated?

Aspiration pneumonia should be treated with antibiotics; treatment of aspiration pneumonitis is primarily supportive. Secondary prevention of aspiration using various measures is a key component of care for affected patients.

What is the mortality rate of aspiration pneumonia?

The mortality rate for aspiration pneumonia complicated by empyema is approximately 20%. The mortality for uncomplicated pneumonia is approximately 5%. An animal model study demonstrated that mice with aspiration pneumonitis were more susceptible to subsequent respiratory infection with certain pathogens.

What happens if aspiration pneumonia is untreated?

If left untreated, aspiration pneumonia can progress to form a lung abscess. Another possible complication is an empyema, in which pus collects inside the lungs. If continual aspiration occurs, the chronic inflammation can cause compensatory thickening of the insides of the lungs, resulting in bronchiectasis.

Which patients are considered at high risk for aspiration pneumonia?

Esophageal conditions associated with aspiration pneumonia include the following:Dysphagia: Oropharyngeal dysphagia has been found in the majority of elderly patients (mean age, 84 y).Esophageal strictures.Esophageal neoplasm.Esophageal diverticula.Tracheoesophageal fistula.Gastroesophageal reflux disease.

How long after aspiration do symptoms occur?

Patients often have a latent period after the aspiration event and the onset of symptoms. Symptoms usually occur within the first hour of aspiration, but almost all patients have symptoms within 2 hours of aspiration.

What lung lobe is most prone to aspiration pneumonia?

Radiographic evidence of aspiration pneumonia depends on the position of the patient when the aspiration occurred. The right lower lung lobe is the most common site of infiltrate formation due to the larger caliber and more vertical orientation of the right mainstem bronchus.

How long does it take to recover from aspiration pneumonia?

With treatment, you may recover in 1 to 4 weeks. If you are over 60 years old or have other medical problems, it may take longer to get your strength back and feel normal. Finish the full course of the antibiotic treatment prescribed by your healthcare provider.

Does aspiration pneumonia require hospitalization?

Some people may need to be hospitalized. Treatment depends on how severe the pneumonia is and how ill the person is before the aspiration (chronic illness). Sometimes a ventilator (breathing machine) is needed to support breathing. You will likely receive antibiotics.

How do you treat aspiration pneumonia at home?

To help with pneumoniaTake your antibiotics as directed. … Take your medicines exactly as prescribed. … Get plenty of rest and sleep. … Take care of your cough so you can rest. … Use a humidifier to increase the moisture in the air. … Do not smoke, and avoid others’ smoke.More items…

What is the best antibiotic to treat aspiration pneumonia?

The choice of antibiotics for community-acquired aspiration pneumonia is ampicillin-sulbactam, or a combination of metronidazole and amoxicillin can be used. In patients with penicillin allergy, clindamycin is preferred.

How serious is aspiration pneumonia in elderly?

Aspiration pneumonia (AP) is a common, but potentially serious disease that frequently occurs in elderly patients. … Most patients with AP, particularly the elderly, have dysphagia and difficulty with oral intake5 and malnutrition. 6. Indeed, AP is frequently fatal in such patients.

What to do if aspiration occurs?

What to Do If Aspiration Is Suspected. Any choking incident can put someone at a risk for aspirating. If someone chokes, encourage them to spit out any food or beverage remaining in their mouth. If someone is coughing, encourage them to keep coughing, as this may clear the material from their airway.