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#194877 - 07/16/17 09:21 PM aspiration pneumonia from swallowing issues  
Joined: Mar 2003
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Anita210 Offline
Gold Member (200+ posts)
Anita210  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 249
Colorado
I thought things were going pretty well with husband - no new aspiration pneumonia for a little over a year. He had been getting aspiration pneumonia every 3 months or so until he completely went to feeding tube only for all food and liquid. But now he's had another aspiration pneumonia that landed him in the hospital. Doctors have told him that he may have chronic aspiration and his only hope may be a tracheotomy, and even that won't prevent aspiration.

Wondering if anyone else suffering from long-term effects of radiation has found anything that helps with aspiration pneumonia, such as therapies for lung health, etc.

Thanks,
Anita


Husband Dx 12/02 Stage 4 Tonsil Cancer T1N2bM0; surgery, radiation, chemo 1/03 - 4/03.
#194881 - 07/17/17 04:29 PM Re: aspiration pneumonia from swallowing issues [Re: Anita210]  
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bjmpittsburgh Offline
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Posts: 103
Before you jump to the trach. Does your husband sleep on his side or back? Chronic regurgitation during sleep could result in small amounts being aspirated into his lungs.

I have similar issues and found that sleeping with my torso at 25 degrees or greater angle from horizontal (floor) mostly resolved the problem. (Sleeping in a recliner is not great, but then again, I haven't had to deal with pneumonia since I started to do this.)

Also talk to your doctor about using a crushable version of Previcid or similar medication to reduce the reflux.

Good Luck


1997 SCC Tumor on tongue - Partial Glossectomy
1997 Met to Lymph
Radical Neck Dissection / 2nd Partial Glossectomy
6 weeks chemo and radiation
Brachytherapy
2011 Stroke
2014 Recurrence SCC at Base of Tongue / Hemi-glossectomy
Free Flap reconstruction from thigh
PEG Tube inserted
6 weeks radiation
Trisimus
Pump Feed
Permanent Issues with speech and swallowing

#194883 - 07/17/17 04:56 PM Re: aspiration pneumonia from swallowing issues [Re: Anita210]  
Joined: Oct 2012
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gmcraft Offline
"OCF Canuck"
gmcraft  Offline
"OCF Canuck"
"Above & Beyond" Member (500+ posts)

Joined: Oct 2012
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Toronto, Canada
My husband had silent aspiration. He did not have any indication that he's aspirating and so could not cough up anything that went in the wrong way. I hope that's not what your husband has. In John's case, the hospital speech path told me that he could have been aspirating on his saliva' it may be a small amount each time but over time, it would catch up with him.

Bjmpittsburgh' suggestion of sleeping at an angle is a very good idea. Please be very vigilant and make sure you take your husband to the hospital if he ever shows signs of fever, or shakes, or vomiting. They are all signs of pneumonia, as you probably know. Don't wait.


Gloria
She stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails... Elizabeth Edwards

Wife to John,dx 10/2012, BOT, HPV+, T3N2MO, RAD 70 gy,Cisplatinx2 , PEG in Dec 6, 2012, dx dvt in both legs after second chemo session, Apr 03/13 NED, July 2013 met to lungs, Phase 1 immunotherapy trial Jan 18/14 to July/14. Taxol/carboplatin July/14. Esophagus re-opened Oct 14. PEG out April 8, 2015. Phase 2 trial of Selinexor April to July 2015. At peace Jan 15, 2016.
#194885 - 07/17/17 09:34 PM Re: aspiration pneumonia from swallowing issues [Re: Anita210]  
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 249
Anita210 Offline
Gold Member (200+ posts)
Anita210  Offline
Gold Member (200+ posts)

Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 249
Colorado
Thanks for the responses.
Yes, he's been using a wedge to sleep at an angle for several years.
I don't know how many cycles of aspiration pneumonia you can be treated for before the antibiotics stop working...and/or the body just can't take it anymore.


Husband Dx 12/02 Stage 4 Tonsil Cancer T1N2bM0; surgery, radiation, chemo 1/03 - 4/03.
#194938 - 08/04/17 02:28 PM Re: aspiration pneumonia from swallowing issues [Re: Anita210]  
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 70
slash Offline
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slash  Offline
Supporting Member (50+ posts)

Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 70
Normal, IL
Hi Anita,
My husband was getting pneumonia frequently. He's 100% tube, too. What has worked for him is sleeping almost sitting up and keeping his mouth very clean. He spends at least 15-20 minutes cleaning his mouth before bed brushing, scraping and rinsing. It lowers the bacteria levels in the mouth.


Susan, CG to husband, diagnosed April 2010, age 56, non-smoker, no HPV
Mandibulectomy on left side May 2010 followed by 30 radiation, 3 cisplatin treatments.
#195063 - 08/28/17 06:36 PM Re: aspiration pneumonia from swallowing issues [Re: slash]  
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 249
Anita210 Offline
Gold Member (200+ posts)
Anita210  Offline
Gold Member (200+ posts)

Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 249
Colorado
Yes, the keeping mouth clean component is important.
I think the latest pneumonia was brought on by a virus that resulted in vomiting...and then aspirating vomit. That could be a hard one to prevent.
He sees a good pulmonary doctor at the end of September. I'll bring up the prevention question to him and share anything I learn.

Thanks,
Anita


Husband Dx 12/02 Stage 4 Tonsil Cancer T1N2bM0; surgery, radiation, chemo 1/03 - 4/03.

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