Nicknamed "Gland Central" because it influences almost every organ, tissue, and cell in the body, the thyroid is shaped like a butterfly and located just below the larynx, or Adam's apple, and in front of the trachea, or windpipe.
When the stomach contents moves into the esophagus, there is the possibility that this material will be aspirated into the windpipe, which can cause asthma, pneumonia, and possibly suffocation or sudden death.
In more severe cases a drug very like natural surfactant (Exosurf Neonatal or Survanta) can be dripped into the lungs through a fine tube (endotracheal tube) placed in the infant's windpipe (trachea).
Bronchitis is an inflammation of the air passages between the nose and the lungs, including the windpipe or trachea and the larger air tubes of the lung that bring air in from the trachea (bronchi).
This defect almost always occurs in conjunction with tracheoesophageal fistula (TEF), a condition in which the esophagus is improperly attached to the trachea, the "windpipe" that carries air into the lungs.