Orlando Aspiration Pneumonia
Aspiration Pneumonia occurs when saliva, food, vomit, or liquids accidentally go into the airway to the lungs and an individual is not able to cough it up. Instead, a bacterial infection begins and if left untreated, aspiration pneumonia can be deadly. Elderly patients in nursing homes are at a higher risk of aspiration pneumonia. According to an article published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, a case-controlled study found the incidence rate of aspiration pneumonia to be 18 percent in nursing home facilities. If you have a loved one who is suffering from a severe case aspiration pneumonia that was left untreated or was caused by neglect, you may have a personal injury case and should speak with a qualified Orlando nursing home neglect attorney.
What Increases the Risk of Aspiration Pneumonia?
While aspiration pneumonia is caused by a liquid or solid going into the lung’s airways or lungs, there are certain scenarios that increase a person’s risk of contracting it because they are not able to properly clear the airways by coughing. The risk of aspiration pneumonia increases with the following:
- Parkinson disease;
- General anesthesia;
- Tracheostomy; and
- Other comorbidities.
The Symptoms of Aspiration Pneumonia
- Excessive sweating;
- Coughing up phlegm that is dark-colored;
- Chest pain;
- Shortness of breath;
- Bad breath;
- Difficulty swallowing; and
- Bluish coloration of the skin.
Those who are suspected of having aspiration pneumonia will need to seek medical attention. Chest x-rays can help with the diagnosis. Patients will be propped up in bed so the chance of aspiration is lowered and antibiotics will likely be given to help with the infection. If a patient has trouble breathing they may need a ventilator and if they continue to have trouble swallowing, a feeding tube may be necessary. According to a study in the Journal of Hospital Medicine, almost all patients seen in the emergency department of a hospital for aspiration pneumonia were admitted to the hospital, and the median stay among those who survived was just shy seven days.
How Aspiration Pneumonia Can Be a Sign of Nursing Home Neglect
Aspiration Pneumonia is not simply a consequence of aging. A nursing home patient who is neglected is more likely to suffer from this infection because they may not receive assistance during meal times where there is an increased likelihood of having food travel into the airway. Furthermore, if they are left unattended for long periods of time, the nursing home staff would not notice the symptoms of the pneumonia and be unable to help the elderly patient seek hospital treatment in time for a successful outcome.
Contact The Turnbull Firm if You Suspect Nursing Home Neglect
If your loved one has become sick or succumbed to aspiration pneumonia and you believe that their symptoms were neglected by the nursing home staff, you may have a personal injury case. The knowledgeable Orlando aspiration pneumonia lawyers at The Turnbull Firm can help you further investigate and submit a claim. Contact us today at 407-612-6464 to schedule a free consultation.