The following tests may also help diagnose this

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The following tests may also help diagnose this condition: • Arterial blood gas • Blood culture • Bronchoscopy • Chest x-ray
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• Complete blood count (CBC) • CT scan of the chest • Sputum culture • Swallowing studies * Signs of tachypnea, cough, rales, cyanosis, wheezing, fever, leukocytosis and, occasionally, apnea develop, usually, within two hours of the aspiration. Pathophysiology: Aspiration is the introduction of a foreign substance into the lungs, but the mere instillation of foreign substance into the subglottic airway is not sufficient to produce disease. Damage to the pulmonary tree, which ranges from mild to fatal, depends on the nature, volume and pH of the aspirated contents, and the pathogenicity of the organisms. Physiologic changes resulting from aspiration of acidic fluid or gastric contents include a decline in arterial blood oxygen tension, increased alveolar capillary membrane permeability, and a decrease in intravascular volume. The lungs can become edematous and gas exchange abnormalities are the result. Histologic examination shows tracheal mucosal desquamation, damage to the cells of the alveolar lining and capillary inflammation 24 to 36 hours after aspiration.
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