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Suffering from aspiration pneumonia. What are the remedies available?

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Practicing since : 1979
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hi, my father has problem of chest aspiration.....every now and then it there any remedy. Right now he is in hospital coz he had aspiration pneumonia.Doctors say after seeing his chest ct that his esophagus is broadened and his hiatus hernia is larger. since 20 days he was having constant wheezing sound and high rate of respiration.Inspite of getting treatment with 3 kinds of antibiotics his condition has improved marginally. Yesterday he also lost his orientation for sometime(his eyes were open but he was not able to see, hear and speak and recognize.....he said it was a kind of black out).Then after tingling his feet sole he instantly got his orientation back and was normal. His wheezing sound had diapered but again started in lower intensity. His respiration rate is 20-22 per minute, Oxygen concentration is 95, Blood pressure 140/80, blood sugar random is 95- 150
Posted Thu, 4 Apr 2013 in Lung and Chest disorders
Answered by Dr. Shashi Dangwal 2 hours later

I`ve gone through your query posted on XXXXXXX

As mentioned by you, your father is suffering from aspiration pneumonia. Aspiration of oral/pharyngeal or stomach contents into the airways is the reason for aspiration pneumonia. This is common in elderly people and it may be more so in case of your father as he has other co morbidities. His swallowing may have been affected as a result of stroke that he has had which may be responsible for aspiration of food, saliva, water and bacteria from oral and pharyngeal cavity.

As mentioned by you, he also has large hiatus hernia which is causing both aspiration and GERD(Reflux Disease). GERD can make his asthma worse and aid in further aspiration.

At present your priority should be to get his aspiration pneumonia treated which i am sure doctors treating him are taking care of. Once his pneumonia is cured and his asthmatic attack has subsided, you have to try out measures which will prevent or minimize the episodes of aspiration.

Consult a GE surgeon for treatment of hiatus hernia as symtomatic large hiatus hernia needs to be treated by surgery.

He should be careful while swallowing. It should be a gradual process in fully upright position and while fully awake. Bite/bolus should be small. He should not drink too much of water during and soon after a meal. Meals should be small and frequent. He should not lie down soon after a meal.

Maintaing proper oral hygiene is of paramount importance, otherwise colonization of oral cavity with pathogenic flora will increase his chances of developing recurrent aspiration pneumonia.

Lastly, consult a chest physiotherapist who can help him with XXXXXXX breathing exercises and assist him in loosening the phlegm from his chest and clearing it out.

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