Aspiration Pneumonia

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Aspiration Pneumonia

 

Aspiration pneumonia arises when foreign material is inhaled into the lung, causing infection and inflammation. Often, the inhaled material is food, liquid, vomit or fluid from the mouth.

Normally, involuntary defense mechanisms such as coughing will clear these substances from the airway before they enter the lung. However, if these mechanisms are impaired, or a large amount of foreign material is inhaled, this does not happen.

Those with diminished or no control over their ability to swallow, such as those who are intoxicated, unconscious or have suffered a stroke, are at significantly increased risk for aspiration pneumonia.


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