ICU Chest Films > Lung Processes > Aspiration Syndromes

Aspiration Syndromes

ICU patients are at risk for aspiration pneumonitis. Reduced consciousness, neuromuscular disorders, and intratracheal or intraesophageal devices all are factors which may predispose patients to aspiration by compromising the patient's airway defense mechanisms.The effects of aspiration are determined by volume of the aspirate and the nature of the aspirated material. These determine the extent and severity of any inflammatory response. Chemical irritants may be acid, alkali or paticulate in nature depending on gastric contents.

This patient suffered a witnessed aspiration during intubation. This film was taken 24 hours later. Note the patchy infiltrates maximal at the left base.

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