Mortality estimates for aspiration pneumonia vary. At least 5 percent of people who are hospitalized for aspiration will die. Among those with other complications, such as emphysema, the mortality rate rises to 20 percent or higher. Among geriatric populations, mortality skyrockets. A 2013 study of elderly patients put 30-day mortality at 21 percent. First responders, doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers must always treat aspiration pneumonia as a medical emergency with a high mortality risk. Diligent airway management can prevent aspiration pneumonia in many emergent and surgical scenarios, and prompt emergency intervention can reduce aspirate volume in people actively aspirating.