Indianapolis Aspiration Pneumonia Lawyer - Cohen & Malad

Aspiration Pneumonia

Indianapolis Aspiration Pneumonia Medical Malpractice Attorneys


We expect medical professionals to exercise a high standard of care for their patients. When this standard is not met, serious injury, including death can occur. Indiana medical malpractice claims have been filed against heath care practitioners who have failed to meet the standard of care and caused injury to their patients. These health care practitioners include doctors, anesthesiologists, nurses, and hospitals to name a few examples.

Aspiration pneumonia is an inflammation of the lungs and airways to the lungs which happens when foreign materials enter the airway, instead of the esophagus. Foreign material can be anything from food to liquids or vomit. When these materials are present in the lungs or airways, breathing can be difficult and life-threatening infection can result.

Often when foreign materials enter the airway, a person will reflexively cough to expel them. But there could be several circumstances in which a person might not be able to expel the foreign material. People who have drunk large amounts of alcohol or have taken certain medications may not be as alert and could be susceptible to aspiration pneumonia. Patients who are under anesthesia are susceptible to aspiration pneumonia; and their providers, especially anesthesiologists must take precautions to prevent aspiration.

People who may have a poor gag reflex or problems with swallowing may also demonstrate a higher risk for aspiration pneumonia. Sometimes disease or injury can impact a person’s ability to swallow. People with multiple sclerosis or who have suffered a stroke often have a diminished ability to swallow. These people present a higher risk for aspiration pneumonia and would require a higher standard of care to ensure their safety.

For all of these reasons, many physicians will order a patient to not take any food or liquid by mouth at least 4 to 8 hours prior to surgery in order to keep the stomach empty to prevent vomiting or aspiration. In all instances where a person may have a diminished ability to swallow, a medical professional should practice care when attending to patients.

When infection occurs, the impact can be deadly. Complications from aspiration pneumonia range from infections which can be present in the blood or in the body to acute respiratory distress syndrome.

Summary of an Aspiration Pneumonia Claim

Failure of hospital personnel in Indianapolis, Indiana to ensure a mentally deficient patient was NPO (nothing by mouth) before a sinus surgery resulted in the patient aspirating (throwing up stomach contents) during the surgery. This caused the patient’s stomach contents to go into his lungs which resulted in aspiration pneumonia. The patient’s condition deteriorated so much that an infection occurred and both of his arms and legs had to be amputated. This patient filed a medical malpractice claim and obtained the maximum settlement permitted by law.

Indiana Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of medical malpractice, contact us today. We have handled cases near Evansville, South Bend, Anderson, Indianapolis and all around the state. Our experienced Indianapolis personal injury attorneys can provide you with a free initial consultation and can advise you of your legal rights and options. Cohen & Malad, LLP has earned a well-respected reputation as a tough litigation firm in the courtroom and during negotiations and can bring Power to Your Voice.