How should aspiration pneumonia be managed in the emergency department (ED)?

Updated: Aug 15, 2018
  • Author: Justina Gamache, MD; Chief Editor: Guy W Soo Hoo, MD, MPH  more...
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Answer

Answer

Emergency department care should start with stabilizing the patient's airway, breathing, and circulation. Oropharyngeal/tracheal suctioning may be indicated to further remove aspirate.

Reassess the need for intubation on a frequent basis depending on the patient’s oxygenation, the patient's mental status, signs of increased work of breathing, or impending respiratory failure.

Continue supplemental oxygenation as needed, as well as continue cardiac monitoring and pulse oximetry and provide continued supportive care with intravenous fluids and electrolyte replacement.


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