What are the treatments for the infection?
Oxygen therapy and antibiotic medications are the standard treatments. Antibiotics are given through a vein. A ventilator, or artificial breathing machine, may be needed to keep an open airway and provide oxygen. The trachea may need suctioning to clear secretions and aspirated particles out of the airway.
What are the side effects of the treatments?
Antibiotics may cause stomach upset, diarrhea, and in some cases, an allergic reaction. Occasionally, the antibiotic may not cure the lung infection. Sometimes a ventilator actually increases a person's risk for aspiration pneumonia.
What happens after treatment for the infection?
Antibiotic treatment will be given for several weeks. Special breathing treatments may be continued after discharge from the hospital.
How is the infection monitored?
A chest x-ray is the best way to tell whether the aspiration pneumonia is clearing and responding to medication. A sputum culture and blood tests may be repeated during a checkup. Any new or recurring symptoms should be reported to the healthcare provider.