How fast does it take for a patient to aspirate?

  1. 0
    I recently took care of a pt that was given thin liquids by a family member when the pt should have been given thickened liquids. Pt became congested and noted with rhales. Called hospice in and was informed by hospice nurse that aspiration could not occur until after 48hrs. I have been a nurse for almost 10 yrs and never have heard this before. I thought that aspiration could occur right when it happened,especially if you had problems with this. Am I right or wrong?:angel2:
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  5. 0
    Quote from angel p
    I recently took care of a pt that was given thin liquids by a family member when the pt should have been given thickened liquids. Pt became congested and noted with rhales. Called hospice in and was informed by hospice nurse that aspiration could not occur until after 48hrs. I have been a nurse for almost 10 yrs and never have heard this before. I thought that aspiration could occur right when it happened,especially if you had problems with this. Am I right or wrong?:angel2:
    I believe the term is being misused. Aspiration happens when the patient swallows the liquid into his lungs. However the chemical and biological changes that take place, take time to develop, and this is what I believe the hospice nurse meant.

    Grannynurse
  6. 0
    yup, true true granny nurse. It takes a second for a person to aspirate, as long as it takes the liquid to run down the trachea, but it may take a couple of days for an infection to develop. You may hear rhonchi or rales immediately after someone aspirates just because there's fluid in the airway. If that person was healthy and could cough it up, they could avoid infection.
  7. 0
    I agree that aspiration happens right away and the term can be misused..
  8. 0
    So, a person could be "choking" on the liquids and if not able to cough it up right then, be compromised and deteriorate right then? I'm thinking of my father-in-law, who died a year ago, under similar circumstances.
  9. 0
    Quote from SandraJean
    So, a person could be "choking" on the liquids and if not able to cough it up right then, be compromised and deteriorate right then? I'm thinking of my father-in-law, who died a year ago, under similar circumstances.
    Yes, a person 'choke' on a liquid or even semi solid and develop aspiration pneumonia. How rapidly one develops and how severe the pneumonia depends on the material aspirated. It is also influenced by the person's own state of health and lung health. A 65 year old man, who never smoked and is in good health, will recover, with less of an impact then a 65 year old man, who smokes and suffers from COPD, is an insulin dependent diabetic, in poor control and has untreated hypertension.

    Grannynurse
  10. 0
    Thanks for the feed back everyone. I just was surprised when the nurse told me this. To update requards to this matter. The pt does have a possible aspiration pneumonia and is being treated with ABT's and Atropine SL. I am sure that maybe the hospice nurse wasn't using the term right. Thanks again for the feedback.

    angelp
  11. 0
    Hi all....I was wondering that myself about aspiration. Great post! Thanks. I have to say I learn more on these boards then at work, then I did at school what a fantastic site.
    Have a great day everyone!
    Minnib
  12. 0
    Yep...what they said. It only takes one drink or sip.


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