Aspiration of Barium Contrast by a Geriatric Patient with Gastroparesis
Keywords:Barium swallow, Gastroparesis, aspiration, dysphagia
Complications due to aspiration of barium contrast occur rarely during studies of the digestive tract. While lung tissue can tolerate small amounts of Barium large quantities can exceed the lung’s capacity and consequently lead to death especially, in geriatric patients. Barium contrast can affect pulmonary ventilation and perfusion function, causing dyspnoea, hypoxemia and respiratory failure. We herein report a barium swallow case in which an 82-year-old woman aspirated barium on the first swallow and was diagnosed with Gastroparesis. The history, procedure and patient management are discussed. The purpose of the case report is to add to the existing literature on aspiration cases during barium swallow studies and the outcomes after the aspiration. Furthermore, this case report also highlights a need for extra care when attending to senior patients with dysphagia during barium studies.
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