The following is how the hardened tissue that almost caused my mom her life looked like:
The picture above was taken during my mother’s hospitalization in May 2022. This was the 2nd tissue that was pulled out in the span of few days from the suction. The first tissue that was pulled out was at least 3 times the size of what you see above.
These hardened tissue came from phlegm and mucus that dried up. A normal person would usually be able to swallow their saliva and secretions so we do not see this kind of thing happening. But in the case of a person with dysphagia who lost the swallowing ability, the secretions just stayed there because they are not being swallowed to the stomach nor being spit out.
The hardened tissue of 3 times the size had got lodged inside my mom’s lungs because during that time I had not learned deep phlegm suction. I was doing suction for her but it was on the surface of her throat and mouth. When the tissue got into her lungs, it somehow blocked her cough reflex. It also blocked other secretions from coming out of her lungs as it was a huge piece of tissue.
With repeated nebulizing, physio massage and suction, the tissue which got softened from the nebulizer moved out a little and was successfully suctioned out by the nurse.
Such tissue would not be picked up by the Xray was a foreign object hence they have no idea this was what obstructing the secretions from coming out from her lungs. After my mom was discharged from the hospital, I continued with deep suction (as taught by the nurses) and daily nebulizer of twice a day.