What causes an increased risk of aspiration and bacterial pneumonia in critically ill patients?

Updated: Sep 30, 2020
  • Author: Justina Gamache, MD; Chief Editor: Guy W Soo Hoo, MD, MPH  more...
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Answer

Critically ill patients are at notably increased risk of aspiration due to the following:

  • The challenge of appropriate, risk-minimizing positioning

  • Gastroparesis/dysmotility

  • Impaired cough/gag/swallow reflexes (illness- or drug-induced)

  • Impaired immune response

  • Intubation/extubation


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