Tips to avoid aspiration pneumonia during autonomic crisis

Many people with FD are unsure whether the aspiration pneumonia caused the crisis or whether the crisis’s retching and secretions caused the aspiration pneumonia.

Here are three useful tips to AVOID aspiration pneumonia and other common crisis complications:

  1. Sit upright during crisis. Do not lie down while retching
  2. Use G-tube, if possible, for all meds & liquids until crisis subsides.
  3. Add 1/2 tsp of salt per liter of water to avoid hyponatremia

Hypertensive vomiting attacks are sometimes associated with excessive vasopressin secretion, anti-diuresis, water retention, and hyponatremia. Hyponatremic seizures have occurred in a number of cases. Since patients do not regulate water intake through thirst, they should avoid excessive free water intake through the gastrostomy tube to avoid water intoxication.

You can add 1/2 tsp of salt per liter of water to avoid hyponatremia.

If a patient is in prolonged crisis or shows a change in mental status (ex. confusion, disorientation, worsening ataxia) they should be evaluated by a medical provider and have their serum electrolytes checked.

What other tips have helped you during autonomic crisis? Leave in the comments below: