Is aspirated pneumonia contagious?

  1. HI! Can someone please tell me if aspirated pneumonia is contagious?

    My best friend is in the hospital as she delivered her twins prematurely (at 24 weeks gestation) and also has aspirated pneumonia. I would like to go visit her today but I'm nervous. I have a baby at home who was also born prematurely although he is now a very healthy 3 1/2 month old. I wouldn't want to take something home with me and affect him.

    Please help!

    Thank you in advance.
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   Tweety
    It's not contageous in the air, so don't worry about that. There's all kinds of bugs in the hospital period, not only in your friends room. Wash your hands very well as you are leaving and perhaps change your clothes before you handle your child. Most importantly wash your hands.
  4. by   Agnus
    Aspiration pneumonia is not an infection. It is caused when someone inhales somthing other than air. Example, liquids, foods, solid objects.

    It is when something "goes down the wrong way" and the pereson is not able to cough it out before it gets to the lungs.

    However, an infection can develop as a result of having a foreign substance like food in the lung. Aspiration pneumonia is not something you catch.
  5. by   leslie :-D
    but, it's a very important point tweety made; hospitals carry all sorts of germs so make sure hands washed and don't go around touching stuff. good point tweety.
  6. by   UK2USA
    Aspiration Pneumonia is definately not contagious, as has been said before. It arises when something is inhaled (eg. food, milk, buttons etc). The presence of the foreign body causes the 'soapy' film that lines the lungs to be damaged - meaning that the areas affected are more prone to stick together... a collapse of that part of the lung.

    It is possible for infections to take advantage of this damage, compounding the problem. The treatment depends on what sort of infection it is. If it is bacterial then a course of antibiotics will usually clear it up, if it is viral then it is usually left to run it's course (usually with prophylaxis antibiotics to prevent an opportunistic bacterial infection secondary to the virus).

    The main area of concern to these twins is not what they can pass on to others though... it is what can be introduced to them whilst they are in this fragile state. For that reason it is extremely important that good handwashing and hygiene is followed. It is highly likely that at 24 weeks the twins will be in a closed incubator. This has the effect of keeping them warm and also protecting them from unwanted organisms that lurk in hospitals. My advice would be to ask your friend to seek advice from the unit staff regarding visitors. If they are fine with it then no problem.

    I hope the twins recover soon and that your son continues to be a happy-chappy.
    Last edit by UK2USA on May 14, '04

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