Boating accidents can result in various catastrophic injuries. When rescued from a near-drowning incident, most people do not realize that complications may follow. One of the most common and severe complications is aspiration pneumonia.
Aspiration pneumonia is a lung infection caused by inhaling foreign objects or liquids.
What causes aspiration pneumonia?
Aspiration pneumonia occurs when you inhale something into your respiratory tract. In the case of a near-drowning accident, as your body attempts to breathe underwater, you can breathe water into your respiratory tract. In addition to pneumonia, inhaling water can also cause pneumonitis. Pneumonitis has similar symptoms but is not an infection. It refers to irritation.
What are the symptoms of aspiration pneumonia?
Generally, it can take up to a day or two to develop pneumonia after an accident. The most common symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath and persistent coughing. As your body attempts to fight off the infection, you may feel more tired than usual and extremely fatigued.
What does pneumonia recovery look like?
Your recovery will depend on your treatment options and how quickly you receive a diagnosis. Those who have underlying medical conditions may have more complications during recovery. When pneumonia goes untreated, it can result in lung scarring and abscesses.
In some circumstances, pneumonia can have a long-term impact on your overall health, including the development of chronic conditions of the lungs and heart. If you developed pneumonia after a boating accident where you inhaled water, the complications could be due to the initial accident.