The parents of a newborn ask the nurse what is the chief danger associated with a tracheoesophageal fistula? The nurse replies:

Aspiration into the lungs


•Emergency surgery for the infant with a tracheoesophageal fistula is essential to prevent the development of pneumonia from leakage of stomach secretions into the lungs or an electrolyte imbalance from lack of oral intake.

•Tracheoesophageal fistula is a serious disorder because during feeding, milk can fill the blind esophagus and overflow into the trachea, resulting in aspiration.

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