Aspiration in older adults Older adults are also more likely to have a condition known as dysphagia, which is difficulty swallowing. It’s common among stroke patients and adults with dementia, Parkinson’s disease, GERD, multiple sclerosis, or other neuromuscular conditions.
PREVENTION OF ASPIRATION DURING HAND FEEDING:
Causes and risk factors Aspiration pneumonia often occurs if a person has a compromised immune system and inhales an object containing a lot of germs. In many cases, the person will cough automatically, which will expel these unwanted particles and prevent aspiration pneumonia from developing.
Aspiration is when something you swallow “goes down the wrong way” and enters your airway or lungs. It can also happen when something goes back into your throat from your stomach. But your airway isn’t completely blocked, unlike with choking. People who have a hard time swallowing are more likely to aspirate.
Aspiration pneumonia is a common disease that frequently occurs in elderly patients. Most patients with aspiration pneumonia have swallowing disability and develop hospital‐acquired disability. Frequently, patients have difficulty returning home, and they often require long‐term hospitalization.
The 3 pillars of aspiration pneumonia D., CCC-SLP points out that three factors have to be present for aspiration pneumonia to develop. Poor oral health status. Impaired health status. Dysphagia (impaired laryngeal valve integrity).
Treatment involves antibiotics and supportive care for breathing. Your outlook depends on your state of health prior to the event, the type of foreign material that is aspirated into your lungs, and any other conditions you might have. Most people (79 percent) will survive aspiration pneumonia.
Aspiration of foreign material into the lungs can represent a medical emergency requiring timely interventions to assure a favorable outcome. Establishment of a patent airway and maintenance of adequate oxygenation are the initial requirements for successful treatment of all types of aspiration emergencies.
The following stood out among the risk factors: Dysphagia, Impaired or absent gag reflex, Neurological disorders, and Impaired physical mobility, all of which were statistically associated with Risk for aspiration.
Aspiration of a foreign body may cause an acute respiratory emergency and, in some cases, may predispose the patient to bacterial pneumonia.
Mechanisms associated with silent aspiration may include central or local weakness/incoordination of the pharyngeal musculature, reduced laryngopharyngeal sensation, impaired ability to produce a reflexive cough, and low substance P or dopamine levels.
Certain medical conditions, including dysphagia and GERD, can increase a person’s risk of aspiration. Mild aspiration does not usually require treatment. However, see a doctor if the foreign material becomes stuck in the lungs, or symptoms of pneumonia develop.
Ways to clear the lungs
At least 5 percent of people who are hospitalized for aspiration will die. Among those with other complications, such as emphysema, the mortality rate rises to 20 percent or higher. Among geriatric populations, mortality skyrockets. A 2013 study of elderly patients put 30-day mortality at 21 percent.
Aspiration pneumonia treatment Depending on how far down the airway system the obstruction is, you may need suctioning of the upper airway (the trachea) or a bronchoscopy. You may need to have a tube put into your trachea and connected to a ventilator to help you breathe. Antibiotics will probably be required.
Depending on the cause and severity of the aspiration, a feeding tube may be required. If someone is choking or not breathing, take immediate action. Call 911 and start CPR or Heimlich maneuver. If the person is coughing forcefully, encourage them to continue coughing to clear the object.