Pneumonia, or an infection of the lungs, that has resulted from aspiration—that is, from passage of food, liquid, saliva, or vomited stomach contents down into the larynx, trachea, and air sacs of the lungs. Aspiration pneumonia can occur in individuals who have chronic swallowing deficits (e.g., presbyphagia), or can be a result of intoxication, seizure, loss of consciousness, etc.

See also: silent aspiration; gross aspiration; trace aspiration

Tracheal Aspiration of Saliva

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Trachea, normal view (1 of 2)

Looking down the trachea.

Trachea, aspiration (2 of 2)

The patient aspirates a drip of saliva. If this were a larger amount of food material, and if it frequently descended much lower, to the level of the air sacs, this person would develop pneumonia.