Aspiration with pneumonia is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in a patient with dementia. Often this can be reduced by careful planning.


Patient related factors increasing the risk for aspiration:

(1) dysphagia

(2) oral apraxia

(3) agitation


Drug therapy:

(1) sedatives

(2) antipsychotic agents, especially in during the first week of therapy


Poor oral feeding technique:

(1) feeding while the person is supine

(2) giving too large of a food bolus

(3) feeding while the person is refusing to eat

(4) not paying attention to how well the patient is swallowing



(1) vomiting

(2) gastroesophageal reflux (GERD)


Placement of an enteral feeding tube is not a guarantee against pulmonary aspiration, especially if the patient becomes agitated.


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