What can be done to prevent the infection?
Diligent care by healthcare providers is critical in helping to prevent aspiration pneumonia. The airway must always be open and stable in people with altered mental status or abnormal swallowing. Feeding and breathing tubes should be checked for proper functioning. Avoiding alcohol intoxication will help to prevent aspiration pneumonia.
What are the long-term effects of the infection?
Life-threatening illness may result from aspiration pneumonia, including:
atelectasis, which is a collapsed or poorly inflated lung
a lung abscess, or pus-filled cavity
sepsis or blood infection
pleuritis, or an infection in the membranes surrounding the lungs
What are the risks to others?
Aspiration pneumonia is not a direct risk to family members or health care providers. However, the person may develop a more serious infection if the condition is not effectively treated. This more serious infection may be highly contagious.