Pulmonary aspiration presents a serious risk to the elderly and infirm, patients experiencing medical emergencies, intubated patients, and anyone undergoing medical or dental procedures. The right suction unit is the most powerful weapon in the fight against aspiration. Ideally, it can prevent aspiration altogether by maintaining a patent airway. Mortality and morbidity associated with pulmonary aspiration are high, with the most common consequence being aspiration pneumonia. One study suggested the 30-day mortality rate for aspiration pneumonia was 21 percent. Understanding this potentially lethal syndrome is key to preventing and treating it.