Aspiration Syndromes Follow-up

Updated: May 19, 2017
  • Author: Cecilia P Mikita, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Girish D Sharma, MD, FCCP, FAAP  more...
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Follow-up

Further Outpatient Care

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  • Patients should be seen by their primary care manager for routine well-child visits and regularly for follow-up care.
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Further Inpatient Care

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  • Admit infants and children with aspiration syndromes if a documented oxygen requirement is noted, if the patient has altered mental status, or if adequate medical care is unable to be met in the outpatient arena.
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Inpatient & Outpatient Medications

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  • See Medication.
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Transfer

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  • Admit to the intensive care unit if the patient requires intubation, shows signs of impending respiratory failure, or shows instability on the ward with requirement of closer monitoring.
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Deterrence/Prevention

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  • Conservative measures are the best deterrence against gastroesophageal reflux (GER). Attention to feeding volumes, positioning, and encouragement of breastfeeding may be helpful to decrease GER signs and symptoms in infants.
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Complications

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  • Chronic lung disease may develop from repeated aspiration of refluxate.
  • Pulmonary fibrosis may occur over time secondary to repeated aspiration of small volumes of gastric secretions, promoting a progressive fibrotic pulmonary response.
  • Chronic bronchitis and bronchiectasis are also recognized complications.
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Prognosis

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  • In general, the prognosis for an infant or child with an aspiration syndrome is good; but this depends partly on the underlying disorder.
  • GER spontaneously resolves in most children by age 1-2 years.
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Patient Education

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  • Educate patient and family regarding basic and conservative measures to prevent GER and ensuing complications.
  • For patient education resources, see the Procedures Center, as well as Bronchoscopy.
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