Aspiration pneumonia is caused by inhaling foreign material, such as food, liquids, vomit or secretions from the mouth, into the lower airways, resulting in inflammation of the lungs and bronchial tubes.
Aspiration of foreign materials can occur with disorders that affect normal swallowing, disorders of the esophagus, a decreased or absent gag reflex, dysphagia, dental problems, sedatives, anesthesia and coma.
Resources Created by DADS
- Evidence-based Best Practices: Management of Aspiration Pneumonia Risks (PDF)
- Managing Aspiration Pneumonia Risks: Information for Clinical Staff (PDF) includes definitions, types of pneumonia, predisposing conditions, signs and symptoms of dysphagia, signs and symptoms of aspiration pneumonia, diagnostic procedures, treatment, management, and prevention of aspiration pneumonia.
- Managing Aspiration Pneumonia Risk: Information for Direct Care Staff (PDF) includes definitions, types of pneumonia, risk factors for getting aspiration pneumonia, signs and symptoms of dysphagia, signs and symptoms of aspiration pneumonia, evaluation for risk of aspiration pneumonia, and prevention.
Resources from Other Organizations
- How Does Oral Care Prevent Aspiration Pneumonia? discusses the importance of good oral hygiene for individuals experiencing dysphagia in prevention of potential pneumonia from aspirating oral secretions.
- Aspiration Pneumonitis and Pneumonia includes predisposing conditions, pathophysiology and diagnosis of aspiration pneumonia.
- An Update on Preventing Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia in Adults discusses the importance of reducing the overall length of time that persons are intubated, and strategies to prevent of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP). Note: To access this resource, you must set up a free account.
- Antipsychotic Drug Use and Risk of Pneumonia in Elderly People investigates the association between antipsychotic drug use and risk of pneumonia in people who are aging.
- Preventing Aspiration: A Common and Dangerous Problem for Patients with Cancer discusses the importance of preventing aspiration in individuals with cancer. Note: To access this resource, you must set up a free account.