Aspiration pneumonia is a lung infection that occurs when a person accidentally inhales material from the nose, throat, or stomach.
What is going on in the body?
In a person with aspiration pneumonia, substances from the stomach, throat, or nose enter the airway and lungs. The lung tissue and the aspirated material is a breeding ground for infection. Pneumonia, which is a lung infection, may form in one or both lungs. The infection most commonly develops in the lower part of the lungs.
What are the causes and risks of the infection?
Aspiration pneumonia is more likely in a person who is:
debilitated, or very weak
intoxicated by alcohol
unconscious from a medical condition
being fed by a stomach tube, also known as a nasogastric tube
on a ventilator, or artificial breathing machine