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Mendelson's syndrome
Classification and external resources
ICD-10 J95.4
ICD-9 668.0, 997.3
DiseasesDB 979

Mendelson's syndrome is chemical pneumonia caused by aspiration during anaesthesia, especially during pregnancy.



Mendelson's syndrome is characterised by a bronchopulmonary reaction following aspiration of gastric contents during general anaesthesia due to abolition of the laryngeal reflexes. The main clinical features, which may become evident within two to five hours after anaesthesia, consist of cyanosis, dyspnea, pulmonary wheeze, crepitant rales, rhonchi, decreased arterial oxygen tension, and tachycardia, associated with a high BP. Pulmonary edema can cause sudden death or death may occur later from pulmonary complications. It occurs predominantly in association with obstetric anaesthesia.


The risk may be reduced by administering a non-particulate antacid (e.g. Sodium Citrate) or an H2-antagonist like Ranitidine.


It is named for Curtis Mendelson.[1][2]


  1. ^ synd/2330 at Who Named It?
  2. ^ C. L. Mendelson. The aspiration of stomach contents into the lungs during obstetric anesthesia. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, St. Louis, 1946, 52: 191-205.

Volume > 25 and PH <2.5



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