Aspiration Pneumonia


  • Aspiration Pneumonia = aspiration of oropharyngeal contents which includes colonizing flora and leads to infection.
  • Elderly have increased colonization with Staph aureus, aerobic gram-negative bacilli (Klebsiella and Escherichia coli) + dysphagia = pneumonia
  • distinguishing from aspiration pneumonitis may be difficult, and the distinction is controversial.


  • generally not witnessed
  • typical symptoms
  • infiltrate in bronchopulmonary segment
  • those that aspirate in recumbent position -> posterior segments up upper lobes
  • those that aspirate upright -> basal segments of lower lobes
  • higher chance of cavitation and lung abscess formation


  • antibiotics:
    -> benzylpenicillin + metronidazole
    -> or clindamycin
  • – if aerobic gram –ve bacilli suspected (alcoholic patients)
    -> metronidazole + ceftriaxone/cefotaxime/piperacillin-tazobactam/ticarcillin+clavulanate
  • – once defervesce -> amoxicillin-clavulanate or clindamycin
  • 7 days of total therapy usually adequate

CCC 700 6

Critical Care


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Chris is an Intensivist and ECMO specialist at the Alfred ICU in Melbourne. He is also a Clinical Adjunct Associate Professor at Monash University. He is a co-founder of the Australia and New Zealand Clinician Educator Network (ANZCEN) and is the Lead for the ANZCEN Clinician Educator Incubator programme. He is on the Board of Directors for the Intensive Care Foundation and is a First Part Examiner for the College of Intensive Care Medicine. He is an internationally recognised Clinician Educator with a passion for helping clinicians learn and for improving the clinical performance of individuals and collectives.

After finishing his medical degree at the University of Auckland, he continued post-graduate training in New Zealand as well as Australia’s Northern Territory, Perth and Melbourne. He has completed fellowship training in both intensive care medicine and emergency medicine, as well as post-graduate training in biochemistry, clinical toxicology, clinical epidemiology, and health professional education.

He is actively involved in in using translational simulation to improve patient care and the design of processes and systems at Alfred Health. He coordinates the Alfred ICU’s education and simulation programmes and runs the unit’s education website, INTENSIVE.  He created the ‘Critically Ill Airway’ course and teaches on numerous courses around the world. He is one of the founders of the FOAM movement (Free Open-Access Medical education) and is co-creator of litfl.com, the RAGE podcast, the Resuscitology course, and the SMACC conference.

His one great achievement is being the father of three amazing children.

On Twitter, he is @precordialthump.

| INTENSIVE | RAGE | Resuscitology | SMACC

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