When should consultation with specialists be considered for aspiration pneumonia?

Updated: Aug 15, 2018
  • Author: Justina Gamache, MD; Chief Editor: Guy W Soo Hoo, MD, MPH  more...
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Consult with a pulmonologist for bronchoscopy when airway obstruction due to a foreign body is suspected in patients with chemical pneumonitis or for ruling out a neoplasm in bacterial pneumonia cases.

Consult with an intensivist (critical care specialist) for severe chemical pneumonia if hypoxemia is severe and ventilatory support is anticipated. [18, 19]

Consult with a thoracic surgeon for bacterial pneumonia complicated by empyema (eg, closed-tube drainage, open-tube drainage, and decortication). In general, there is no role for surgical care, except in such cases with complications.

Consult with an infectious disease specialist for advice about proper antibiotic therapy.

Consult with a speech and language therapist for a comprehensive swallowing evaluation in patients with stroke or other risk factors for aspiration. These therapists can perform a bedside swallowing evaluation and, if abnormalities are found, can teach the patient compensatory strategies with soft or pureed foods and thickened liquids.

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