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Aspiration Pneumonia

Aspiration pneumonia is an inflammation of the lungs caused by inhaling large amounts of foreign material, such as food, liquid, vomit, or mucus. This can happen when a person has become weakened by an illness such as a seizure or stroke that affects his or her ability to swallow.

Pneumonia can make it hard to breathe. This can reduce the amount of oxygen that gets into the bloodstream. This form of pneumonia is more common in people whose immune systems are weakened by disease or medicines. People who have aspiration pneumonia are usually treated with antibiotics in a hospital to prevent or treat an infection.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerR. Steven Tharratt, MD, MPVM, FACP, FCCP - Pulmonology, Critical Care Medicine, Medical Toxicology
Last RevisedMarch 6, 2013

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 06, 2013
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