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Aspiration Pneumonia

Aspiration pneumonia is a breathing condition in which the lungs become infected as a result of food, liquids, saliva or vomit being breathed into the lungs or airways leading to the lungs.

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Aspiration Pneumonia

Aspiration pneumonia is among the most common reasons for hospitalization of nursing home residents. Those who contract the infection are three times more likely to die than are other nursing home residents.

The elderly are most susceptible to this infection, as immune systems become compromised with age. With proper attention and treatment, however, the condition can be prevented.

Risk factors for breathing foreign material into the lungs include, among others:

  • Old age
  • Cognitive deficits caused by sickness, medications or other reasons
  • Problems swallowing
  • Poor gag reflex following a stroke or brain injury
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol
  • General anesthesia
  • Coma

Symptoms of Aspiration Pneumonia

Symptoms include these, among others:

  • Coughing up green or dark phlegm
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Blue discoloration of the skin
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Wheezing
  • Bad breath

Nursing Home Laws

Nursing home and hospital operators have a legal duty to exercise a high degree of care in attending to their residents and patients, respectively. When they fail to meet this duty, they may be held responsible for the resulting injuries and damages.

Reasonable measures should be taken to prevent aspiration pneumonia from occurring. A well trained and alert staff is the first line of defense. In addition, when the condition does develop, it must be promptly detected and properly treated. Again, a vigilant staff and expert medical professionals are essential. Neglect is never acceptable.

Our Lawyers Can Help You

Our injury lawyers and staff want to help you, in the unfortunate event that you need our help.  Just e-mail or telephone us for a free, no obligation, confidential consultation.  

For free answers to your questions about injuries or a death occurring in a nursing home, assisted living center or group home, just complete our convenient online contact form.

The Law Firm You Choose Makes a Difference

In the largest injury case in the history of the world, we were selected as the only Arizona law firm to represent the State of Arizona against American tobacco companies for the past, present and future costs of treating tobacco-related illnesses. As a result, the State is expected to recover more than $3 billion. Accident Injury Lawyers