The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Swallow saliva into the wrong pipe?  (Read 19677 times)

Offline Polaris

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 29
    • View Profile
Swallow saliva into the wrong pipe?
« on: 23/03/2014 03:53:10 »
Hello,

I was half asleep as I breastfed my baby and suddenly felt like swallowing the saliva into the airpipe and as a reflex I got up quickly and coughed for a few seconds. Since my baby was crying I lie back down to feed him before I coughed anything up with bad feeling(something there?) still in the airpipe.  And now after a few hours I feel its there (or I thought so much so that I feel its still there) and regret it since I held back the natural reflex in order not to disturb his drinking. Can that cause infection of the air pipe or lung in the long run?
Or will it eventually still be coughed out?

Thank you!


 

Offline cheryl j

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1460
  • Thanked: 1 times
    • View Profile
Re: Swallow saliva into the wrong pipe?
« Reply #1 on: 24/03/2014 12:37:14 »
The cough is a normal reflex to that. If you are a normal healthy adult, the small amount of spit you may have inhaled will be swept up and out by tiny hair like structures on the cells that line your bronchi, and any bacteria will be scavenged and destroyed by white blood cells that roam around the lungs looking for dust and other particles.

It's more serious when people inhale a large amount of fluid or contents from the stomach, which sometimes happens if they vomit in their sleep or while unconscious.
 

Offline Polaris

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 29
    • View Profile
Re: Swallow saliva into the wrong pipe?
« Reply #2 on: 25/03/2014 16:29:19 »
Thank you!

Does it happen to healthy adults that they vomit which they sleep?
 

Offline evan_au

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 4126
  • Thanked: 247 times
    • View Profile
Re: Swallow saliva into the wrong pipe?
« Reply #3 on: 25/03/2014 18:15:23 »
Getting any amount of fluid down your windpipe is pretty uncomfortable! Humans have a diving reflex which is pretty good at keeping water out of your lungs.

When you go into hospital for a procedure under general anesthetic, they tell you not to eat or drink for a certain period of time beforehand. This is because they want your stomach to be completely empty, otherwise there is a very real chance that you could vomit something into your windpipe while unconscious; with the cough reflex suppressed by the anesthetic, this is seriously bad for you!

I imagine that if they have to shock your heart back into operation (like in the movies), the extreme muscular contraction could also move food up into your throat.

This is not such an issue if you are conscious.
 

Offline CliffordK

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 6321
  • Thanked: 3 times
  • Site Moderator
    • View Profile
Re: Swallow saliva into the wrong pipe?
« Reply #4 on: 25/03/2014 23:29:37 »
The cough is a normal reflex to that. If you are a normal healthy adult, the small amount of spit you may have inhaled will be swept up and out by tiny hair like structures on the cells that line your bronchi,
Aspiration Pneumonia is rare outside of the medical setting (surgery/anesthesia)

One would note that the cilia as well as the macrophages are damaged by smoking which can reduce the natural ability of the lungs and bronchi to clean themselves.  And, second hand smoke is a risk for childhood asthma.  Anyway, take care of your body and lungs.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Re: Swallow saliva into the wrong pipe?
« Reply #4 on: 25/03/2014 23:29:37 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums
 
Login
Login with username, password and session length