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Aspiration Pneumonia

more about Aspiration Pneumonia


Anaerobic pneumonia, aspiration of vomitus, or pyogenic pneumonia



  • Symptoms usually occur within 2 hours.
  • Fever, chills
  • Cough with foul-smelling, greenish, or pus-containing phlegm
  • Weight loss, lack of energy
  • Shortness of breath
  • Bluish discoloration of the skin
  • Rapid pulse, rapid breathing
  • Bad breath
  • Coughing up blood
  • Sweating
  • Chest pain

  • Aspiration Pneumonia is caused by inhaling foreign material, such as food, drink, vomit, secretions from the mouth, or baby powder.
  • Previously healthy patients are infected with anaerobic bacteria, while ill hospitalized patients may be infected with Gram-negative bacteria such as Pseudomonas, Escherichia coli, or Klebsiella.

  • History:
    1. Symptoms
    2. Illnesses
    3. Surgeries
    4. Medications
    5. Allergies
  • Wheezing, rales, high-pitched breathing sounds audible on stethoscope
  • Chest X-ray may show alveolar and reticular infiltration.
  • Tests:
    1. Bronchoscopy
    2. Bronchoalveolar lavage
    3. Barium swallow roentgenography demonstrates aspiration from gastroesophageal reflux
    4. Radionuclide milk scanning
    5. CBC, arterial blood gas, blood culture, sputum culture, lung needle biopsy with culture

  • Obstructive lesion such as esophageal atresia, duodenal obstruction
  • Impaired swallowing mechanism as the result of being unconscious, weak, debilitated, or decreased muscle tone

  • Suctioning of the airway
  • Administering oxygen
  • A respirator may be used in critically ill patients.
  • Antibiotics
  • Steroids for some cases
  • Chest physiotherapy after endoscopy


  • If your child has shortness of breath, wheezing, chills, fever, or fainting spells occur, your child needs emergency treatment.

  • Do not force-feed a child who has an overdistended stomach.
  • Place an infant right-side-down after feeding.




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