Every year, more than 60,000 Americans die from complications of dysphagia and other swallowing disorders. The most common of these complications is aspiration pneumonia. Traumatic injuries that cause continuous bleeding into the airway can also lead to aspiration. Even with treatment, aspiration has a high mortality rate because it introduces contaminants into the airway. Mortality estimates vary depending on the population studied, but are at least 20-30 percent higher in the elderly and those with preexisting respiratory disorders.