Aspiration pneumonia

Alternative Names

Anaerobic pneumonia; Aspiration of vomitus; Necrotizing pneumonia; Aspiration pneumonitis

Definition of Aspiration pneumonia

Aspiration pneumonia is inflammation of the lungs and airways to the lungs (bronchial tubes) from breathing in foreign material.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Aspiration pneumonia is caused by breathing foreign materials (usually food, liquids, , or fluids from the mouth) into the lungs. This may lead to:

Signs and tests

A physical examination may reveal crackling sounds in the lungs and a (heart rate).


Some people may need to be hospitalized. Treatment depends on the severity of the . You may receive antibiotics, which treat bacteria. Some people may get special antibiotics to treat bacteria that live in the mouth.

Expectations (prognosis)

The outcome depends on:


David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 3/17/2009

Pneumococci organism
Respiratory system

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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