Pneumonia: Definition, Types, Symptoms, Treatment

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Pneumonia: is an inflammation of the lung parenchyma with a microbial agent or an infection that inflames in one or both lungs. The lungs may fill with fluid or pus. it’s an acute illness characterized by a productive cough, pain, fever, chills, and difficulty breathing.

  • The most common cause of death from infectious diseases.
  • Classified according to the causative agent.
  • Bacterial could be caused by radiation, ingestion of chemicals, and aspiration.
  • Lobar pneumonia: a substantial portion of one or more lobes is involved.
  • Bronchopneumonia: pneumonia distributed in the patchy fashion. it originates in one, or more localized areas within the bronchi and extends to the surrounding parenchyma. it is more common than lobar pneumonia.

Predisposing factors:

1- Conditions such as Cancer or Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

2- Decreased immunity as:

Severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID)

Temporary acquired immune deficiencies.

HIV, which causes AIDS.

3- Smoking: disrupts mucociliary, and macrophage activity.

4- Bed ridden patients.

5- Depressed cough reflex and aspiration of the foreign body.

6- Alcohol.

7- Unconscious pt. old pt. ( depressed cough reflex).

8- Other diseases as:

(Congestive heart failure (CHF), Diabetes mellitus (DM), Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), influenza, cystic fibrosis).

What are the main causes of pneumonia?

1- Viruses as Influenza (flu) A and B viruses( most common in the adult)or Respiratory syncytial virus, in addition, rhinoviruses, parainfluenza viruses, and adenoviruses.

2- Bacteria – most commonly pneumonia ( diplococcus pneumonia ) is normally presented in the throat and Staphylococcus aureus.

4- Mycoplasma pneumonia.

What are the early signs and

1- Severe pain stabbing in the chest worsens by breathing and coughing.

2- Rapid increase in fever up to ( 39.5°C – 40.5 °C) (103.1°F-104.9°F).

3- Shaking chills.

4- A Painful cough usually productive of rusty exudates sputum.

5- Increase respiratory rate, shallow rapid breathing.

6- Orthopnea, dyspnea. cyanosis and restlessness.

7- If not treated delirium might occur.

How is pneumonia diagnosed in adults?

  • The full history of the patient helps in diagnosis.
  • A Physical examination as auscultation and listening to the internal sounds of the lung and measuring vital signs.
  • Culture and sensitivity of sputum.
  • X-Ray studies.
  • A complete blood count (CBC).

What is the best treatment for pneumonia?

1- Antibiotics ( after Culture and sensitivity).

2- Supportive therapy:-

  • Bed rest.
  • Fluids.PO or I.V.
  • Oxygen therapy through a mask or nasal cannula.
  • Suctioning sputum if needed.
  • Warm moist inhalation is helpful to decrease bacterial irritation.
  • Tracheostomy ” is a surgical procedure which consists of making an incision on the anterior aspect of the neck and opening a direct airway through an incision in the trachea” if the airway is obstructed by captious secretion.

4- Decrease fever for example :

Firstly cold compresses and secondly acetaminophen (The average normal body temperature is 98.6°F (37°C)).

What happens if pneumonia goes untreated?

Serious complications will occur when the treatment is not received:

  • Congestive heart failure (CHF).
  • Empyema ( collection of pus in the pleural space).
  • Pleurisy ( inflammation of pleura ).
  • Septicemia (blood poisoning).
  • Atelectasis ( collapse of the lung tissue due to plugging of a bronchus by mucus).
  • Hypertension and shock.
  • Otitis media.
  • Sinusitis.
  • Bronchitis.

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