- Published: August 30, 2022
- Updated: August 30, 2022
- University / College: University of Ottawa
- Level: Master's
- Language: English
- Downloads: 25
Topic: Aspiration Lecturer: The anatomy of the human body is structured in such a way that each organ of the body is assigned to a special duty or role to play (Selius and Subedi, 2008). Because of how regularized the functioning of the various parts of the human anatomy is, any change in roles could be very devastating and in some cases fatal. It is in this direction that the entry of food, fluid or other foreign material into the lung is generally considered to be accidental because the lung is not supposed to harbor such substances (Wierbicky, 2008). When any foreign material such as food or fluid enters the lungs, we say aspiration has taken place. Aspiration could be consequential and come with the risk of leading to a type of pneumonia known as aspiration pneumonia.
Aspiration is generally being identified to be common in some people than others. For example, patients who suffer dysphagia stand a higher risk of being affected with aspiration and on a very regular basis. Dysphagia could pose a risk to patients because it is the difficulty in swallowing and such difficulty commonly leads to misplacement of food or fluid particles. It is also said that the male to female ratio of risk is 2: 1 (Medscape, 2012). What this means is that there are more males who are at risk to aspiration than females. It is for this reason that the control of aspiration is an important issue to health practitioners.
Symptoms of aspiration are varying and often dependent on the level of risk. Most commonly however, aspiration will be characterized by coughing, choking, fever, chills, leakage of food from mouth, shortness of breath and wet voice after swallowing (University of Wisconsin, 2012)
The National Safety Council is quoted as stating that choking is the forth leading cause of unintentional injury death (Medscape, 2012). There are other critical effects that adults and other sufferers of aspiration face. Some of these include a permanent expansion of one’s lungs or trachea (Selius and Subedi, 2008). Once such permanent damages take place, the resorting long term consequence is that there could be the development of dyspahgia, which in its self is a risk factor to getting aspiration.
Practitioners often want to use the term conservative management because they have a feeling that aspiration is best treated when taken care of at the initial stage. To this effect, some of the treatments prescribed include the need to place children in upright positions, not putting children in seated position after ninety minues of feeding, raising head of bed to 300, giving of thickened diet to infants, and reducing the quantum of food given to children in the mouths at a go. (Medscape, 2012). In its worse form, it is always recommended that broad-spectrum antibiotics be given especially if victim shows no sign of improvement after 48 hours of conservative management.
Aspiration is worth addressing as a health concern but this is even more serious in children. This is because the anatomical development of the human body puts children below the age of fifteen (15) at more risk than older people. This is because “ the angles made by the mainstream bronchi with the trachea are identical until the age of 15” (Medscape, 2012). What this means is that the rate at which there could be misjudgment at the time of swallowing by such children who have identical mainstream bronchi and trachea is higher than in those who have definite separation of these two important organs. Finally, all cases of local inflammation and its attendant anatomical disorders put a person at risk to contracting the aspiration. This is because such inflammations lead to the formation of granulation tissues, which in effect may seriously lead to obstruction of the airway.
University of Wisconsin Signs and Symptoms of Aspiration. 2012. Web. September 10, 2012 Medscape, Foreign Body Aspiration. 2012. Web. September 9, 2012 National Health And Medical Research Council, (NHMRC), Guidelines for the development and
implementation of clinical practice guidelines. Canberra: AGPS. 2005.
Selius Barnes A and Subedi Richmonds. Urinary retention in adults: diagnosis and initial
management. Am Fam Physician. 2008; 77: 643-650.
Wierbicky Jones. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa:
Saunders Elsevier; 2008.