Two new British Thoracic Society Clinical Statements on Aspiration Pneumonia and Community Acquired Pneumonia in people with learning disability
Aspiration pneumonia (AP) is disproportionately represented in people with a learning disability, in whom it is a major cause of death. AP is the microaspiration of bacteria-rich secretions into the lungs in sufficient amounts to cause alveolar and systemic inflammation. Pneumonia can arise and is seen in people with abnormal swallowing which can often go undiagnosed. Speech and language therapy assessment is key for anyone at potential risk of AP. Prevention is possible with measures including good oral hygiene and food thickening. Assessment, initial treatment and place of care are also discussed.