Aspiration pneumonia occurs when a foreign substance is introduced into the lungs. Elderly adults are particularly susceptible to aspiration pneumonia because they are more likely to suffer from predisposing factors that compromise the ability to swallow. They may also lack an effective gag reflex or the ability to cough, which can let foreign material into the windpipe, allowing bacteria to enter the lungs.
Aspiration pneumonia can be deadly. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, persistent cough, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest pain, bluish skin coloration from lack of oxygen, rapid pulse/heart rate, excessive sweating and difficulty swallowing.
Many cases of aspiration pneumonia are caused by failure of caregivers to follow proper procedures, lack of appropriate training or insufficient staff to properly monitor and safeguard patients.
If your loved one has suffered from aspiration pneumonia, contact Keosian Berberian LLP.