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USC - University of Southern California Cardiothoracic Surgery at University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine
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Glossary of Terms

The act of taking in a breath. However, the term aspiration is more commonly used to define the act of removing fluid or air from a body cavity using suction. Example: "We aspirated 100 cc’s of fluid from the chest." Aspiration may also refer to a condition that occurs when a patient vomits and some of the stomach content is sucked into the lungs by the patient when taking a breath. Example: "The patient was drunk, vomited and aspirated." Aspiration of gastrointestinal contents can cause a severe pneumonia.


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