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aspiration pneumonia from swallowing issues #194877
07-16-2017 01:21 PM
07-16-2017 01:21 PM
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Colorado
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Anita210 Offline OP
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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.
Re: aspiration pneumonia from swallowing issues [Re: Anita210] #194881
07-17-2017 08:29 AM
07-17-2017 08:29 AM
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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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bjmpittsburgh Offline
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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 Gloss
1997 Met to Lymph
Radical Neck Dissection / 2nd Partial Gloss
6 weeks chemo and radiation
Brachytherapy
2011 Stroke
2014 Recurrence SCC at Base of Tongue / Hemi-gloss
Free Flap reconstr from thigh
PEG Tube
Radiation
Permanent Issues with speech and swallowing
2018 - Bleeding throat / mouth
2019 - Bleeding throat / mouth
2019 - 3rd diag Cancer SCC Base of mouth / jawbone
2019 - Aug remove portion of jaw / right pec det / free flap closure and tongue

Re: aspiration pneumonia from swallowing issues [Re: Anita210] #194883
07-17-2017 08:56 AM
07-17-2017 08:56 AM
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Toronto, Canada
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gmcraft Offline
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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.
Re: aspiration pneumonia from swallowing issues [Re: Anita210] #194885
07-17-2017 01:34 PM
07-17-2017 01:34 PM
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 251
Colorado
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Anita210 Offline OP
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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.
Re: aspiration pneumonia from swallowing issues [Re: Anita210] #194938
08-04-2017 06:28 AM
08-04-2017 06:28 AM
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Normal, IL
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slash Offline
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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.
Re: aspiration pneumonia from swallowing issues [Re: slash] #195063
08-28-2017 10:36 AM
08-28-2017 10:36 AM
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Colorado
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Anita210 Offline OP
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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.
Re: aspiration pneumonia from swallowing issues [Re: Anita210] #195280
10-21-2017 01:24 PM
10-21-2017 01:24 PM
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Posts: 251
Colorado
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Anita210 Offline OP
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Colorado
I think the visit to the pulmonary doctor may have helped with latest episode. We came up with a protocol in the event of aspiration, vomiting, etc. So when he started getting sick a couple of weeks ago, he had antibiotic ready to take immediately, started on nebulizer right away, stopped feeding tube for 24 hours, started on oxygen and hydrated as much as possible. That at least limited the severity of the latest episode and got him back on his feet quicker.

This latest episode was caused by vomiting again. Though I'm still trying to figure out if the vomiting was the cause of the pneumonia or was it a symptom of pneumonia that was already developing.


Husband Dx 12/02 Stage 4 Tonsil Cancer T1N2bM0; surgery, radiation, chemo 1/03 - 4/03.
Re: aspiration pneumonia from swallowing issues [Re: Anita210] #195282
10-22-2017 04:51 PM
10-22-2017 04:51 PM
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Toronto, Canada
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gmcraft Offline
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Anita,

I think the question is best answered by your pulmonary doctor. When my husband contracted pneumonia from aspiration, he had a whole night of vomiting blood (dark, coffee grounds consistency) the night before he was admitted to hospital. The vomiting happened again when he had his second bout of aspiration pneumonia. There were times in between when he would get a virus in his lungs which is not normally found there and which was found when his phlegm was cultured. In those cases, a dose of anti-biotics took care of it.

I don’t know if this makes things any clearer for you, but I would ask the specialist if I were you.


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.
Re: aspiration pneumonia from swallowing issues [Re: Anita210] #200624
01-11-2021 02:57 PM
01-11-2021 02:57 PM
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Posts: 251
Colorado
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Anita210 Offline OP
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Colorado
Sadly, my husband passed about a year ago. The aspiration issues, weight loss, etc from treatment became too much.
Anita


Husband Dx 12/02 Stage 4 Tonsil Cancer T1N2bM0; surgery, radiation, chemo 1/03 - 4/03.
Re: aspiration pneumonia from swallowing issues [Re: Anita210] #200644
01-23-2021 02:16 PM
01-23-2021 02:16 PM
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I'm so sorry for your loss


F 39 x-smoker,non drink
05/20/19 T4aN1/N2bM0 SCC L lateral tongue &10mm into R
Pembro pre & post surgery
RIG 08/10/19
Glossectomy ND RFFR 08/13/19
RT x33
2x cispltin
No doing too bad smile

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