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Pneumonia and Respiratory Compromise

Muscle fatigue and weakness are common manifestations of mitochondrial disease.  This can include the muscles of the chest wall and diaphragm.  Intubation and ventilation may be required to rest the patient.  With severe and/or prolonged infections, recovery may be remarkably prolonged, especially if the course of the infection has been drawn out, demanding patience and long-term, aggressive pulmonary toileting. 

If the patient has shown a decline in function in association with the course of the infectious illness, the patient may also be at risk for aspiration even if this had not previously been a problem.  Whether or not this risk decreases depends on the extent of the patient's recovery.

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