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Chest Xray of aspiration pneumonia.

Aspiration Pneumonia

Aspiration pneumonia is pneumonia that is caused by something other than air being inhaled (aspirated) into the respiratory tract. These foreign substances can be food, liquid, saliva, stomach contents, toxins, or even a small foreign object. While healthy individuals are usually able to cough and remove the foreign object, others, including those who are elderly, have diminished cognitive abilities, suffer from dysphagia (trouble swallowing), or suffer from central nervous system disorders are at an increased risk of developing aspiration pneumonia. If left untreated, aspiration pneumonia can lead to sepsis (also known as septic shock, septicemia, or blood poisoning) and/or respiratory failure. Therefore, it is critical for nursing facilities to, among other things, identify residents who are at risk for aspirating, develop an appropriate aspiration prevention care plan, implement an appropriate nutrition/hydration plan, and ensure the resident is eating and/or drinking in an upright position.


Nursing facilities must also be able to rapidly identify the signs and symptoms of aspiration pneumonia to prevent the spread of the infection to other lobes of the lungs or other areas of the body. Oftentimes, aspiration pneumonia occurs when a facility fails to properly care for its residents.


If you believe your loved one suffered from aspiration pneumonia while in a nursing home or assisted living facility, contact the experienced attorneys at FIDJ, before it’s too late.

*The information contained herein is not, and must not be construed as medical advice.

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