General Practice 2022

Aspiration pneumonia: what é, symptoms, causes and treatment

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Aspiration pneumonia: what é, symptoms, causes and treatment
Aspiration pneumonia: what é, symptoms, causes and treatment

Aspiration pneumonia is a lung infection caused by aspiration or inhalation of liquids or particles that came from the mouth or stomach, reaching the airways, and leading to the appearance of some signs and symptoms such as coughing, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing, for example.

Aspiration pneumonia, also called aspiration pneumonia, is usually associated with swallowing disorders and, therefore, occurs more frequently in infants, the elderly and people who breathe with the aid of devices.

It is important that the diagnosis and treatment of aspiration pneumonia be started quickly to prevent complications, as this type of pneumonia is more common in people who have a weaker immune system.

Symptoms of aspiration pneumonia

The main symptoms of aspiration pneumonia are:

  • Fever above 38ÂșC;
  • Cough with phlegm, which often has a bad smell;
  • Feeling short of breath;
  • Difficulty breathing;
  • Chest pain;
  • Easy fatigue.

The symptoms of pneumonia in the baby can be different, manifesting mainly through excessive crying and decreased appetite. In the case of older people, there may also be mental confusion and decreased muscle strength, and there may or may not be fever in some cases.

How the diagnosis is made

The diagnosis of aspiration pneumonia is made by the pulmonologist or general practitioner based on the evaluation of the signs and symptoms presented by the person and he alth history.In addition, to confirm the pneumonia and the cause, imaging tests such as chest x-ray and abdominal ultrasound may be performed, in some cases, blood tests, such as blood count, and microbiological analysis of the sputum.

Oxygen saturation assessment may also be indicated, which assesses the amount of oxygen circulating in the blood. See more about oxygen saturation.

Main causes

Aspiration pneumonia is more common in people who have difficulty swallowing, being more common in some situations:

  • Breathing with the help of appliances;
  • AVC;
  • Unconsciousness due to medication or anesthesia;
  • Reflow;
  • choking with vomit;
  • Esophagus malformations;
  • After dental, digestive or respiratory diagnostic or surgical procedures.

This type of pneumonia can occur more frequently in babies and older people, and it is important to identify the cause of the pneumonia so that the most appropriate treatment can be initiated.

Aspiration pneumonia in baby

Aspiration pneumonia in babies is one of the main infections in the lungs in children under 1 year of age, since it is common for the infant to choke or put small objects in the mouth, which can go to the lungs. This pneumonia is usually caused by choking with vomit, and it can happen when the baby has esophageal malformations, such as atresia or when he regurgitates on his back.

Treatment for aspiration pneumonia in the baby should be done according to the pediatrician's guidance, and can be done at home with the use of antibiotic syrups, however in some cases hospitalization may be necessary, depending on the severity of the disease. disease.

How the treatment is done

Treatment of aspiration pneumonia should be done according to the recommendation of the pulmonologist and most of the time it lasts about 1 to 2 weeks and can be done at home with the use of antibiotics such as Ceftriaxone, Levofloxacin, Ampicillin -sulbactam and can be associated with Clindamycin in more severe cases. However, depending on the severity of the disease and the patient's he alth status, hospitalization may be necessary.

During treatment, patients should always brush their teeth, keep their mouth clean and clear their throat, because these are great ways to prevent the transport of bacteria from the mouth to the lungs.

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

After treatment, a chest x-ray may be recommended to confirm that there is no fluid in the lung, as well as avoiding places with a lot of pollution, taking the pneumococcal vaccine and evaluating measures to prevent further aspiration and prevent pneumonia from returning.

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