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Aspiration pneumonia: what is it, symptoms and treatment

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Aspiration pneumonia, also called aspiration pneumonia, is a lung infection caused by aspiration or inhalation of liquids or particles from the mouth or stomach, affecting the airways and causing the appearance of signs and symptoms such as coughing, feeling of lack air and difficulty breathing, for example.

This type of pneumonia is usually associated with changes in swallowing, for this reason, it occurs more frequently in babies, old people and people who breathe with the help of devices. These people have a weakened immune system, which is why it is important that the diagnosis and treatment of aspiration pneumonia be started quickly to prevent complications.

main symptoms

Symptoms of aspiration pneumonia generally include:



  • Fever above 38 ºC;
  • Tos con flema, que many veces posee mal olor;
  • Sensation of lack of air;
  • Difficulty breathing;
  • Pain in the chest;
  • Easy tiredness.

The symptoms of pneumonia in babies can be different, manifesting mainly through the excessive itch and the decrease in appetite. In the case of major persons, there may also be mental confusion and decrease in muscle strength, in addition to being able or not to have it in certain cases.

Although it occurs in babies, old people and people who breathe with the aid of devices, pneumonia by aspiration can also happen in people who pose difficulties to swallow, as in the case of ACV; in those who are unconscious due to medication or anesthesia; in las que estén vomiting, que posean eflujo what hayan been subjected to dental, digestive or respiratory diagnostic or surgical procedures, for example.

The signs and symptoms of pneumonia due to aspiration usually appear 3 days after the person has been affected by food or secretions, being diagnosed by a general physician or neurologist after the evaluation of the clinical history and the complementary exams, such as chest X-ray and blood or phlegm analysis.

Aspiration pneumonia in the baby

Aspiration pneumonia in the baby is one of the main infections in the lungs in children under 1 year of age, because it is common for the baby to get stuck or put small objects in the mouth, which can move around the lungs. Generally, this pneumonia is caused by vomiting with vomiting, which can occur when the baby has esophageal malformations, such as atresia or when it regurgitates in the upper mouth position.



The treatment for aspiration pneumonia in the baby must be carried out according to the pediatrician’s orientation, being able to carry it out at home with the use of antibiotic jars, without embargo, in certain cases, hospitalization may be necessary, depending on the seriousness of the illness.

How is the treatment performed?

The treatment of pneumonia by aspiration must be carried out according to the indications of the neumologist; It usually lasts for 1 to 2 weeks and can be performed at home using antibiotics such as Ceftriaxone, Levofloxacin or Ampicillin/Sulbactam, and can be combined with Clindamycin in more severe cases. However, depending on the severity of the illness and the health status of the patient, hospitalization may be necessary.

During treatment, the patient must always brush the teeth to keep the mouth clean and eliminate the feeling of itch in the throat, as these are excellent ways to prevent the spread of bacteria from the mouth to the lungs.

In the elderly, in addition to the treatment of pneumonia by aspiration, it is important to prevent the problem that caused the pneumonia from occurring again. For this, techniques such as ingesting solid foods in small spaces and taking gelatin instead of water can be used.

For treatment, it may be recommended to perform a chest X-ray to confirm that there is no fluid in the lungs, so as to avoid areas with much contamination, receive the anti-neumococcal vaccine and evaluate measures that prevent a new aspiration to, in this way, avoid relapse of the pneumonia.

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Consult a Doctor | Translated by User2937

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The translator user relied on the following text:

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Disclaimer – (English version>) This content has been prepared based on information from research, additional publications, or the translation/verification work of a volunteer editor of this web council. This is a non-profit service. It is strongly recommended that all details and information published be carefully verified. We never allow medication recommendations, medication package inserts or any medication guidance. We never allow partisan politics as information.

Isenção de responsabilidade – (versão em português): Este conteúdo foi preparado com base em informações de pesquisas, publicações adicionais ou no trabalho de tradução/verificação de um editor voluntário deste conselho web. Este é um serviço sem fins lucrativos. É altamente recomendável que todos os detalhes e informações publicadas sejam verificadas cuidadosamente. Nunca permitimos recomendações de medicamentos, bulas ou qualquer orientação sobre medicamentos. Nunca permitimos a política partidária como base para checagem. Para mais informações, leia nossos termos.

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