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6 Serious Complications of Pneumonia You Should Know
When you get pneumonia — whether it was caused by bacteria, a virus, or a fungus — there’s a chance it could lead to other medical troubles. Learn the signs of these complications and get treatment right away to keep any health problems you get under control.
Bacteremia and Septic Shock
If bacteria caused your pneumonia, they could get into your blood, especially if you didn’t see a doctor for treatment. It’s a problem called bacteremia.
Bacteremia can lead to a serious situation known as septic shock. It’s a reaction to the infection in your blood, and it can cause your blood pressure to drop to a dangerous level.
When your blood pressure is too low, your heart may not be able to pump enough blood to your organs, and they can stop working. Get medical help right away if you notice symptoms like:
Your doctor will test your blood for bacteria and treat you with antibiotics if you have bacteremia. You may get treated in the hospital for bacteremia or septic shock.
Sometimes pneumonia can cause pockets of pus to build up in your lungs. It’s more likely to happen if you:
Men and older people are more likely to get lung abscesses. Tell your doctor if you have any of these symptoms:
Your doctor can test your mucus or the pus in your lungs to look for infection. They may also take an X-ray or a CT scan of your lungs.
Your doctor will likely treat your lung abscesses with antibiotics. They may do a procedure that uses a needle to remove the pus.
Pleural Effusions, Empyema, and Pleurisy
There are two layers of tissue surrounding your lungs called the pleura. One wraps around the outside of your lungs and the other lines the part of your chest where your lungs sit. They help your lungs move smoothly when you breathe.
If your pneumonia isn’t treated, the pleura can get swollen, creating a sharp pain when you breathe in. If you don’t treat the swelling, the area between the pleura may fill with fluid, which is called a pleural effusion.
If the fluid gets infected, it leads to a problem called empyema. Tell your doctor if you are having any of these symptoms:
- Chest pain that gets worse when you breathe, cough, or sneeze
- Pain that travels to your back or shoulder
- Hard time breathing
- You don’t want to breathe deeply because it hurts
Your doctor may look for swelling or fluid with an X-ray, ultrasound, or CT scan. They might also give you an electrocardiogram (EKG) to make sure that a heart problem isn’t the cause of your chest pain.
If you do have pleurisy, you may need medications that can stop the swelling.
For pleural effusions and empyema, your doctor may suggest a procedure that removes fluid from your body with a needle. Antibiotics are also an option to treat empyema.
When you have pneumonia, it’s possible for your lungs to fill with fluid. If that happens, they won’t be able to transfer enough oxygen to your blood or get rid of the carbon dioxide in your blood. It’s a serious condition because your organs need oxygen to work.
If your pneumonia is severe or you’re in the hospital to treat it, your care team will watch you for signs of this rare — but life-threatening — complication.
You’re more likely to get respiratory failure if you’re being treated in the hospital, have a weak immune system, have a history of alcoholism, or you’re elderly.
Get medical help right away if you have any of these symptoms:
- Fast breathing or not being able to breathe fully
- Feel like you cannot get enough air
- Racing or irregular heart rate
- A bluish tint to your skin, fingertips, or lips
- Extreme restlessness
- Losing consciousness
To figure out if you’re in respiratory failure, your doctor may use tools like X-rays, CT scans, blood tests, and pulse oximeters. The best way to treat it is to get more oxygen, either through a tube in your nose or a mask that your doctor places over your mouth and nose. You may also get medications to treat any infection that is causing the problem.
If you have bacteremia or septic shock, your heart may not be able to pump enough blood to your kidneys. It’s not a common complication of pneumonia, but it’s serious because your kidneys will stop working if they’re not getting enough blood.
Your odds of getting kidney failure are higher if you’re in the hospital or have other medical conditions on top of your pneumonia.
Your doctor will watch for signs of kidney problems. Get medical help right away if you have these symptoms:
Your doctor can see if your kidneys are working by looking at how much you are peeing and testing your urine or blood. Your doctor will treat the cause of your kidney failure, and in extreme cases you may need to have your blood cleaned through a dialysis machine until your kidneys are working again.
Research shows that 20% of people who are in the hospital for pneumonia also have heart problems, and scientists are looking into why that is. Some possible reasons include bacteria that enters the heart, the stress of the illness increasing the chance of having a heart problem, or that your body is not sending enough oxygen to your organs. The chances of having a heart problem related to your pneumonia are higher if you are elderly, are in the hospital, or already have a heart condition.
Get medical help right away if you are having.
Your doctor can look for heart failure by listening to your heart, testing your blood, or checking the results of an X-ray, electrocardiogram, echocardiogram, CT scan, or MRI. Many medications and procedures can help you manage heart failure.
What Is Pneumonia? Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention
How do you get pneumonia? The majority of the germs that cause infection are spread from person to person through droplets, from coughing or sneezing.
Young children and people older than 65 are the most vulnerable to pneumonia, notes Mayo Clinic. (4)
According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), you’re also at higher risk for pneumonia if you have any of the following conditions: (5)
People who smoke are also at much higher risk for pneumonia, regardless of age, and the condition is more likely to afflict men and African Americans.
People who are frequently in close contact with others, such as college students and military personnel, are also more susceptible to the disease.
RELATED: 10 Pneumonia-Related Terms You Need to Know
What Types of Pneumonia Are There?
The severity of the infection depends on many factors, including your age and overall health.
“A lot of treatment aspects, as well as outcome, depend on the person, as well as the type of pneumonia they have,” says Dr. Barron. “Sometimes you’ll be fine just resting, but if you have things like trouble breathing, you should get to a doctor right away. ”
Your doctors will try to classify your type of pneumonia to help guide your treatment.
Here’s what you need to know about the different types of pneumonia:
Also known as CAP, this is the most common form of pneumonia because you can catch it in public places, such as at school or work. It can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi, according to the National Library of Medicine. (6)
You can also develop CAP after you get a common viral infection, such as a cold or the flu.
The illness ranges from mild to serious and, if left untreated, can lead to respiratory failure or death.
Bacterial CAP is usually more serious than other types and is more common among adults. Atypical pneumonia, often called walking pneumonia, is a milder form often caused by the bacteria Mycoplasma pneumoniae. Walking pneumonia symptoms include sore throat, persistent, dry cough, fatigue, and headaches, and fever, per Cleveland Clinic. (7)
Viral and bacterial pneumonia share some common signs, but doctors can sometimes distinguish between them by a patient’s symptoms.
Various types of bacteria can be responsible for the illness. In most cases, the bacteria will enter the lung during inhalation, then travel into the bloodstream, potentially causing damage to other organs and systems in the body.
Streptococcus pneumoniae, also known as pneumococcal pneumonia, can be treated with antibiotics. But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), many types of bacteria, including some S. pneumoniae (pneumococcus), are resistant to those antibiotics, which can lead to treatment failures. (8) Pneumococcal pneumonia causes an estimated 150,000 hospital admissions a year in the United States.
You can also have a pneumococcal infection without having pneumonia. For example, pneumococcal infections also cause more than three million ear infections in children every year.
Risk factors for bacterial CAP include:
- Having an underlying lung disease, like asthma or COPD
- Having a systemic disease, such as diabetes
- Having a weakened immune system
- Being very young or very old
- Being disabled
- Abusing alcohol
Depending on how sick you are and whether or not you have any other health conditions, your doctor may treat you for a presumptive bacterial pneumonia with antibiotics either at home or in the hospital.
Viral CAP, particularly the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), is the most common cause of pneumonia in children younger than 1 year old, per the CDC. (9)
Although viral pneumonia is generally less severe than bacterial pneumonia, viral infections caused by certain flu viruses, such as h2N1, and coronaviruses, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), can be very serious.
RELATED: What You Need to Know About the COVID-19 Pandemic
Antibiotics are ineffective against viral pneumonia. Your doctor will most likely treat the symptoms — fever, cough, and dehydration.
You or your child may need to be hospitalized if your viral pneumonia symptoms become severe.
Fungal CAP is most common in people with an underlying health problem or a weakened immune system, including those with HIV or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and people undergoing treatment for cancer. (5)
Getting a vaccination against pneumococcal pneumonia reduces your risk for CAP.
As the name suggests, this develops during a hospital stay for a different health problem. People who are on machines to help them breathe are particularly prone to developing hospital-acquired pneumonia.
Hospital-acquired pneumonia usually needs to be treated in the hospital with intravenous antibiotics.
This can develop after a person inhales food, liquid, gases, or dust.
A strong gag reflex or cough will usually prevent aspiration pneumonia, but you may be at risk if you have a hard time swallowing or have a decreased level of alertness.
A form of aspiration pneumonia, chemical- or toxin-related pneumonia is caused by the inhalation of chemical fumes, as through an exposure to a mix of ammonia and bleach, or in the breathing in of kerosene or some other noxious chemical.
This type of pneumonia can also occur in older people with poor swallowing mechanisms, such as stroke victims, who actually can inhale the acidic contents of their stomachs, causing aspiration pneumonia.
This causes inflammation without bacterial infection. These pneumonias can sometimes be difficult to treat, especially because the patients are sicker to begin with.
Once your lungs have been irritated by breathing in food or stomach contents, a bacterial infection can develop.
Some conditions that may put you at risk for aspiration pneumonia include:
Symptoms of aspiration pneumonia include cough, increased sputum, fever, confusion, and shortness of breath.
Treatment may include breathing assistance and intravenous antibiotics given in the hospital.
You can prevent complications by not eating or drinking before surgery, working with a therapist to learn how to swallow without aspirating, and avoiding heavy use of alcohol.
Finally, pneumonia that develops in people with a weakened immune system is often referred to as an opportunistic infection.
You’re more at risk for this type of pneumonia if you have a chronic lung disease, have HIV or AIDS, or have had an organ transplant.
Atypical (Walking) Pneumonia: Treatment & Management
What is “walking” pneumonia?
“Walking” pneumonia is a mild form of pneumonia (an infection of the lungs). This non-medical term has become a popular description because you may feel well enough to be walking around, carrying out your daily tasks and not even realize you have pneumonia.
Most of the time, walking pneumonia is caused by an atypical bacteria called Mycoplasma pneumoniae, which can live and grow in the nose, throat, windpipe (trachea) and lungs (your respiratory tract). It can be treated with antibiotics.
Scientists call walking pneumonia caused by mycoplasma “atypical” because of the unique features of the bacteria itself. Several factors that make it atypical include:
- Milder symptoms
- Natural resistance to medicines that would normally treat bacterial infections
- Often mistaken for a virus because they lack the typical cell structure of other bacteria
Are there other types of atypical pneumonias?
Yes. Other types of atypical pneumonia include:
How is walking pneumonia different from “regular” pneumonia?
Walking pneumonia differs from typical pneumonia in several ways, including:
- Walking pneumonia is a milder form of pneumonia.
- Walking pneumonia usually does not require bed rest or hospitalization.
- Walking pneumonia is usually caused by Mycoplasma pneumoniae. Typical pneumonia is most commonly caused by _Streptococcus _pneumonia or influenza (flu) virus or rhinovirus.
How common is walking pneumonia?
Mycoplasma pneumoniae accounts for 10 to 40 percent of the cases of community-acquired pneumonia (pneumonia contracted outside a healthcare setting).
Walking pneumonia can occur at any time of the year although it occurs most often in the fall and winter.
Is walking pneumonia contagious? If so, how is it spread and who is most at risk?
Yes, walking pneumonia caused by Mycoplasma pneumoniae is contagious (spread through person-to-person contact). When an infected person coughs or sneezes, tiny droplets containing the bacteria become airborne and can be inhaled by others who are nearby.
The infection can be easily spread in crowded or shared living spaces such as homes, schools, dormitories and nursing homes. It tends to affect younger adults and school-aged children more than older adults.
The risk of getting more severe pneumonia is even higher among those who have existing respiratory conditions such as:
How long am I contagious with walking pneumonia?
If you have walking pneumonia caused by Mycoplasma pneumoniae, you can be considered contagious from two to up to four weeks before symptoms appear (called the incubation period). During this time, you will not realize you are contagious and spreading pneumonia. Once the symptoms start, you remain contagious until the symptoms end.
Symptoms and Causes
What causes walking pneumonia?
Walking pneumonia is most commonly caused by Mycoplasma pneumoniae bacteria.
What are the symptoms of walking pneumonia?
Symptoms of walking pneumonia include:
- Sore throat (pharyngitis)
- Feeling tired (fatigue)
- Chest pain
- Mild chills
- Low-grade fever
- Persistent cough that can be dry or produce mucus
The symptoms of walking pneumonia may come on slowly, beginning one to four weeks after exposure. During the later stages of the illness, symptoms may worsen, the fever may become higher, and coughing may bring up discolored phlegm (mucus).
Diagnosis and Tests
How is walking pneumonia diagnosed?
Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms, how long you’ve had them and if any other family members or people you regularly interact with are also ill with similar symptoms. He or she will listen to your lungs with a stethoscope to check for abnormal breath sounds. Your doctor may order chest X-rays to see if there is an infection in your lungs. Your blood or mucus might be tested to determine if your pneumonia is caused by Mycoplasma pneumoniae, another bacteria, virus or fungus.
Management and Treatment
How is walking pneumonia treated?
Walking pneumonia is usually mild, does not require hospitalization and is treated with antibiotics (if your doctor thinks bacteria is causing your symptoms). Several types of antibiotics are effective. Antibiotics that are used to treat walking pneumonia caused by Mycoplasma pneumoniae include:
- Macrolide antibiotics: Macrolide drugs are the preferred treatment for children and adults. Macrolides include azithromycin (Zithromax®) and clarithromycin (Biaxin®). Over the past decade, some strains of Mycoplasma pneumoniae have become resistant to macrolide antibiotics, possibly due to the widespread use of azithromycin to treat various illnesses.
- Fluoroquinolones: These drugs include ciprofloxacin (Cipro®) and levofloxacin (Levaquin®). Fluoroquinolones are not recommended for young children.
- Tetracyclines: This group includes doxycycline and tetracycline. They are suitable for adults and older children.
Often, over-the-counter medications can also be taken to help relieve symptoms of nasal congestion, cough and loosen mucus buildup in the chest. If you have a fever:
- Drink more fluids
- Take medicine
How can walking pneumonia be prevented?
Unfortunately, no vaccines are available to prevent walking pneumonia caused by Mycoplasma pneumoniae. Even if you have recovered from walking pneumonia, you will not become immune, so it is possible to become infected again in the future.
Tips for preventing walking pneumonia include:
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you sneeze or cough. If a tissue isn’t available, sneeze or cough into the inside of your elbow or sleeve. Never sneeze or cough into your hands. Place used tissues into a waste basket.
- Wash your hands often with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Wear a mask around sick people if you have respiratory conditions (such as asthma, bronchitis, emphysema) or other chronic health conditions (heart, liver or kidney diseases, or diabetes) that would make getting pneumonia even riskier for you.
- Get your annual Influenza (flu) shot. Bacterial pneumonia can develop after a case of the flu.
- Ask your doctor about the pneumococcal vaccine. Two types of vaccines are available, Prevnar 13® and Pneumovax 23®. Each vaccine is recommended for people at different age points or who are at increased risk for pneumococcal disease, including pneumonia.
Outlook / Prognosis
When will I start feeling better if I have walking pneumonia?
Most people with walking pneumonia will feel better after a few days on antibiotics. Your cough might continue for a few weeks.
Viral pneumonia: Symptoms, causes, and treatment
Viral pneumonia is pneumonia that develops as a result of a viral infection in the lungs.
The symptoms of viral pneumonia are often similar to those of bacterial pneumonia, but, depending on the virus responsible, there may be a few additional symptoms.
A wide range of viruses can cause viral pneumonia, including influenza and coronaviruses, such as SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19.
Viral pneumonia is often mild, but in rare cases, it can be life threatening.
Read on to learn more about the symptoms, causes, and treatment of viral pneumonia.
Share on PinterestThe symptoms of viral pneumonia may include fever, shaking, chills, and fatigue.
The symptoms of viral pneumonia can range in severity and may include the following:
- a cough that is likely to be dry initially but may produce yellow or green mucus
- shortness of breath
- muscle aches
- loss of appetite
- blue tint to the lips
Some people with viral pneumonia may also have a sore throat or a headache, depending on the underlying cause of the infection.
Viral pneumonia tends to present differently in each age group.
Young children with viral pneumonia generally have mild symptoms that gradually worsen. A child with viral pneumonia may develop noticeable wheezing, and their skin and lips often take on a blue tint due to a lack of oxygen. They are also likely to lose their appetite.
On the other hand, adults over the age of 65 years may experience abnormally low body temperatures, confusion, and dizziness.
A wide range of viruses can cause viral pneumonia, including:
Viruses spread easily when affected people sneeze or cough. A person can also get the infection if they come into contact with a contaminated surface.
Coronaviruses, a large family of viruses that cause respiratory illness, can lead to viral pneumonia. They include SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the viral outbreak a pandemic on March 11, 2020.
According to the WHO, most reported cases are relatively mild — 81% of people have illness that causes no complications, while 14% will develop serious illness and need oxygen therapy, and 5% will need treatment in an intensive care unit.
Severe pneumonia is among the most common complications resulting from severe COVID-19. It may develop by the end of the first week of infection.
People with preexisting health conditions and older adults are more likely to develop severe pneumonia from SARS-CoV-2.
The situation is still developing, so these findings and figures may change.
For live updates on the latest developments regarding the novel coronavirus and COVID-19, click here.
Viral pneumonia can affect anyone, as the viruses that cause it are very contagious.
However, the following factors may increase a person’s risk of developing viral pneumonia:
- being older than 65 or under 2 years of age
- living in a group setting, such as a nursing home, prison, or dormitory
- working in a hospital or nursing home
- tobacco smoking
- alcohol or illicit drug abuse
- having a chronic illness, such as a heart, respiratory, or autoimmune disease
- having a compromised immune system, possibly due to cancer or HIV
- recovering from a recent viral infection
Pneumonia is an infection in the lungs. Doctors classify pneumonia according to its cause. The usual causes of pneumonia include:
- fungal infections
Bacterial and viral pneumonia are more common than pneumonia resulting from fungal infections.
Bacteria such as Streptococcus pneumoniae cause bacterial pneumonia. This type of pneumonia is usually more severe than viral pneumonia.
The symptoms of bacterial pneumonia may include:
- very high fever
- shaking chills, or rigors
- rapid breathing
- shortness of breath
- a cough with blood or mucus
- tiredness or lack of energy
Viral pneumonia may have some of the same symptoms, but the symptoms tend to be less severe.
Bacterial pneumonia requires treatment with antibiotics. Antibiotics do not help treat viral pneumonia unless there is a secondary bacterial cause.
A doctor will be able to diagnose viral pneumonia.
They will generally begin by asking about any symptoms and carrying out a physical examination. As part of the examination, the doctor will listen to the lungs for any abnormal sounds that may indicate pneumonia.
These sounds may include crackling in the lungs or wheezing while breathing. A doctor will also check for a rapid heart rate and decreased airflow.
If the doctor suspects that pneumonia may be present, they are likely to order some of the following tests to confirm the diagnosis:
- chest X-ray
- nasal swab to check for viruses
- sputum culture of the mucus from the lungs
- blood tests, including a complete blood count (CBC) to look for inflammatory markers
- arterial blood gas test
The tests that the doctor decides to order will depend on the severity of a person’s symptoms and whether they are in one of the higher risk groups.
People with a higher risk of developing pneumonia should see a doctor or visit an emergency room immediately if they develop flu-like symptoms alongside any of the following:
- chest pain
- a high fever
- confusion in older adults
- difficulty breathing or rapid breathing
Pneumonia can be extremely serious in higher risk individuals. These people will need immediate treatment for the best outcome.
Viral pneumonia usually goes away on its own. Therefore, treatment focuses on easing some of the symptoms. A person with viral pneumonia should get sufficient rest and stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids.
A doctor may prescribe cough-relieving medication to help ease coughing. People should only take cough suppressant medicine if and when a doctor instructs them to because coughing helps clear the infection from the lungs. For those with thick lung mucus, a doctor may prescribe a cough expectorant.
In some cases of viral pneumonia, a doctor may prescribe antiviral medication to reduce viral activity. This treatment tends to be most effective when the virus is in the early stage of infection.
In rare instances, a doctor may hospitalize a person with viral pneumonia. People over the age of 65 or with chronic health conditions are more likely to need hospital care. The very young are also at higher risk for serious viral pneumonia.
The viruses that cause viral pneumonia are contagious. During the cold and flu season, a person can take steps to stay healthy. These steps may protect against viral pneumonia and other viral illnesses.
Some techniques that people can use to try to prevent getting sick include:
- washing the hands frequently with warm water and soap
- getting a flu shot
- avoiding touching the nose or mouth
- getting enough sleep
- exercising regularly
- eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables
- practicing physical distancing, including staying away from people who are sneezing and coughing
Most people with viral pneumonia recover within a few weeks. However, some people may take several weeks to recover fully, especially those who have a weakened immune system or are over the age of 65 years.
While viral pneumonia can be contagious, a person can practice good hygiene and self-care to lower their risk of getting the infection.
Four Stages of Pneumonia – BASS Urgent Care
Pneumonia is an infection that inflames the lungs due to bacteria. During a pneumonia infection, air sacs, otherwise known as alveoli, will become full of inflammatory cells. The lungs will become solid and full of pus and fluid, making it very difficult to breathe.
A pneumonia infection is no joke. In fact, UNICEF reports that pneumonia kills more children than any other illness. Even if you combined the deal toll of AIDS, measles, and malaria, you would still not have a number high enough to match that of the deaths pneumonia has caused. This dangerous infection should not be taken lightly. It is good to be acquainted with the four stages of pneumonia. The sooner you recognize the illness, the better for your recovery.
This stage occurs within the first 24 hours of contracting pneumonia. During congestion, the body will experience vascular engorgement, intra-alveolar fluid, and multiple bacteria. The lungs will be very heavy and red. Capillaries in the alveolar walls become congested and the infection will spread to the hilum and pleura. During this stage, a person will experience coughing and deep breathing.
This stage occurs two to three days after congestion. At this point, the lungs will be red, firm, and airless with a resemblance to the liver. Alveolar capillaries will be engorged with blood and vascular congestion will persist. During the red hepatization stage, the alveoli will contain many erythrocytes, neutrophils, desquamated epithelial cells, and fibrin.
This stage will occur two to three days after red hepatization and is an avascular stage. The lungs will appear to be a grayish brown or yellow color because of the disintegration of red cells. Your lungs will also appear to be paler and drier than usual. There will be a persistence of fibrin exudate during this stage.
The resolution, or complete recovery, occurs when the exudate experiences progressive enzymatic digestion. This will produce debris that is eventually reabsorbed, ingested by macrophages, coughed up, or reorganized by fibroblasts.
Symptoms of pneumonia include coughing (with green, yellow, or bloody mucus), fever, chills, shortness of breath, nausea, low energy, stabbing chest pains, shallow breaths, and a loss of appetite. With bacterial pneumonia, a person may have a high fever. They may also have blue lips of nail beds, which is due to a low amount of oxygen in the blood.
Viral pneumonia can develop over a few days and has symptoms similar to those of influenza. These include fever, headaches, muscle pains, weakness, and a dry cough. If these symptoms get worse within a few days and include fever and blue lips, a person should seek out medical attention.
Depending on the type of pneumonia, some may not even display symptoms. In older adults and infants, it is common to see less symptoms. An infant may vomit, cough, and display restlessness while an older adult may have a low temperature and sudden mental confusion.
Is Pneumonia Contagious?
While pneumonia does not initially infect everyone, some of the germs associated with pneumonia can spread between individuals. Many viruses that easily spread between people can cause pneumonia. How does pneumonia spread? Pneumonia can be spread by coughs or sneezes that are not appropriately covered, sharing drinks or eating utensils, from touching objects used by a carrier (like tissues), and especially from not regularly washing your hands.
Where to Find Help for Pneumonia
If you believe that you have contracted pneumonia, it is important to seek out help as soon as possible. You might find that a regular doctor’s office will ask you to wait a few days to be seen, but with BASS Urgent Care, you can be seen immediately. We are fully equipped to diagnose and treat pneumonia, as well as other infections. With our help, we can get you started on proper medication and feeling better.
What is pneumonia? | British Lung Foundation
Pneumonia is a type of chest infection. It affects the tiny air sacs in your lungs, called alveoli. When you have pneumonia, these air sacs get inflamed and fill with fluid. This makes it harder for you to breathe.
More people get pneumonia in winter. This is because respiratory viral infections that spread easily from person to person, such as flu, are more common in the winter, and these increase your risk of developing pneumonia.
If you have a long-term lung condition, or care for someone who does, it’s a good idea to have a flu jab every year. Flu can be very serious, and cause complications such as pneumonia.
The flu vaccine is usually free for people at risk and is available from your GP and many high street chemists. It’s best to have your vaccine before the flu virus starts to circulate, which is usually mid-December.
Most people with pneumonia can be completely cured. But it can be life-threatening, and you should take it seriously even if you’re young and fit.
This page includes:
What causes pneumonia?
Many kinds of bacteria and viruses can cause pneumonia.
The most common type of pneumonia is community-acquired pneumonia, which is when pneumonia affects somebody who is not already in hospital. The most common cause of community-acquired pneumonia is a bacterium called Streptococcus pneumoniae but there are many other causes. Community-acquired pneumonia is much less contagious than flu or a cold, because most people’s immune systems can kill the bacteria that causes it before they can cause an infection. Most people with community-acquired pneumonia are unlikely to give the disease to another person.
As well as community-acquired pneumonia, other types include:
Hospital-acquired pneumonia: this is when pneumonia develops while you’re in hospital being treated for another condition or having an operation. People in intensive care on breathing machines are at most risk.
Viral pneumonia: common causes include the flu in adults and respiratory syncytial virus, particularly in children; this form of pneumonia is often contagious and can spread to affect others
Aspiration pneumonia: this is when pneumonia is caused by food going down the wrong way, or inhaling vomit, a foreign object or harmful substance. It’s fairly common in the elderly, or people who have conditions that cause swallowing difficulties or reduced level of consciousness
Fungal pneumonia: this is when pneumonia is caused by fungi. It’s rare in the UK and more likely to affect people with a weakened immune system
You might also hear the term ‘double pneumonia’. This means when you get pneumonia in both lungs. It’s a term used in America.
Can you catch pneumonia more than once?
Yes. Pneumonia is caused by many different microbes, and so getting it once does not protect you from getting it again. If you get pneumonia more than once you may need to have more investigations to understand why this has happened. It could be due to a problem in your chest or your immune system, and you may be referred to a specialist.
What are the symptoms of pneumonia?
If you have pneumonia, you’ll have symptoms that are similar to having flu or a chest infection. Symptoms may develop gradually over a few days but can progress much faster.
The main symptom is coughing. You may feel generally unwell, weak and tired, and you’ll probably have at least one of these symptoms too:
- coughing up mucus that may become yellow or green
- a high temperature – you might also sweat and shiver
- difficulty breathing or getting out of breath quicker than normal
- chest pain or discomfort
- loss of appetite
Even if you have pneumonia, you may not have all these symptoms.
More severe cases may also cause:
- quick breathing
- low blood pressure
- coughing up blood
- rapid heartbeat
- nausea and vomiting
Some people get a sharp pain in their chest when they breathe in and out. This may be because the thin lining between the lung and ribcage, called the pleura, is infected and inflamed. This inflammation, called pleurisy, stops your lungs moving smoothly as you breathe.
The symptoms of pneumonia are often very similar to those of other chest infections, such as bronchitis, COPD flare-ups or bronchiectasis flare-ups. To get a proper diagnosis you’ll need to visit your GP.
If you feel unwell with these symptoms, see your GP or call 111. If you have chest pain, a rapid heartbeat, quick breathing, shivers or confusion, get urgent advice from your GP or call 999. Take extra care if you’re over 65.
Who is most at risk of pneumonia?
You can get pneumonia at any age. Each year in the UK, about 5-11 adults out of every 1,000 get pneumonia.
Some groups of people are at higher risk from pneumonia. If you’re in one of these groups, you should take extra care to reduce your chances of catching pneumonia.
People in these at-risk groups include:
- babies and young children
- people over 65
- people with long-term heart, lung, brain, liver or kidney diseases, or diabetes
- people with cancer, especially those having chemotherapy
- people who smoke or drink alcohol to excess
- people on drugs that suppress the immune system, and those with HIV
People in hospital for other problems sometimes develop pneumonia while they’re there. This can be for several reasons including the use of mechanical ventilators, recent antibiotic use or because their resistance to infection has been weakened by other medical problems.
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Must-Know Facts About Pneumonia in the Elderly
Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that can be serious in older adults. In the U.S., nearly 250,000 people are hospitalized with pneumonia each year, and about 50,000 die from the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Seniors are at high risk for complications and death.
Learn the facts about this potentially severe respiratory infection and how to prevent pneumonia in elderly adults. If you suspect your elderly loved one has pneumonia, see the doctor right away.
What is pneumonia?
Pneumonia is a respiratory infection that causes inflammation in the air sacs in the lungs, called alveoli. The alveoli may fill with fluid or pus, making it difficult for oxygen to flow through the bloodstream. This may cause breathing problems along with fever, chills, and other symptoms.
Pneumonia can affect one or both lungs. When it affects both lungs, it’s called double pneumonia. The symptoms of double pneumonia aren’t different or more severe. The severity of the infection depends on age, overall health, and what caused the infection.
What are the symptoms of pneumonia?
Signs and symptoms of pneumonia may include:
- High fever
- A productive cough with phlegm
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain when breathing or coughing
Sometimes, symptoms of pneumonia may be different in seniors. Elderly adults with pneumonia may have a low-grade fever or even a normal temperature. They may also be less alert, show signs of confusion, or experience changes in mental awareness. If you suspect your aging loved one has pneumonia, see the doctor promptly.
How serious is pneumonia in older adults?
Adults 65 and older are more susceptible to pneumonia than younger people are. Seniors with pneumonia are also at increased risk for hospitalization, complications, and death.
Pneumonia in elderly adults can often be serious and progress quickly. In fact, pneumonia is the second leading cause for hospitalization of Medicare beneficiaries, and most of the people who die from pneumonia each year are elderly adults, according to the American Lung Association (ALA). The death rate among elderly adults with severe pneumonia is as high as 20%.
Researchers and doctors don’t fully understand why pneumonia is more aggressive in seniors. They believe it has to do with the normal aging process, which weakens the immune system and decreases lung function. Older adults also often have other underlying health conditions that can make pneumonia more severe, including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and heart disease.
What causes pneumonia in elderly adults?
Pneumonia is caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other organisms. In the U.S., pneumonia in the elderly is usually caused by bacteria or a virus.
Pneumococcal pneumonia is the most common type of bacterial pneumonia, affecting more than 900,000 Americans each year, according to the ALA. This type of pneumonia is caused by a germ called Streptococcus pneumoniae. It can occur on its own or after someone has a cold or the flu.
These groups are at increased risk for bacterial pneumonia:
- Adults 65 and older
- People with a weakened immune system
- Patients recovering from surgery
- People with other respiratory conditions or viral infections
Viruses can also cause pneumonia. The influenza virus is the most common cause of viral pneumonia in adults. Pneumonia caused by the influenza virus can be severe and even deadly, especially in people with other health conditions such as heart or lung disease.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) can also cause a severe type of double pneumonia that may lead to long-lasting lung damage. It may take several months to recover. Pneumonia associated with COVID-19 can sometimes be fatal, especially in high-risk populations like elderly adults.
Complications of pneumonia in elderly adults
Older adults are at risk for complications of pneumonia, including:
- Bacteremia, a potentially fatal infection that enters the bloodstream from the lungs and can spread to other organs
- Pleurisy, an inflammation of the membrane that covers the lungs (pleura). Pleurisy may require surgery or drainage of the infected fluid in the lungs
- Lung abscess, a pus-filled cavity that can develop in the infected lung area
- Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which occurs when pneumonia severely injures the lungs, leading to respiratory failure. ARDS may require the use of a mechanical ventilator to help with breathing
How is pneumonia treated?
Treatment for pneumonia depends on what caused it. The goal is to eliminate the infection, prevent any complications, and treat symptoms to help your aging loved one feel better.
Bacterial pneumonia is treated with antibiotics. The doctor may run tests to determine which antibiotic medicine will work best for the type of bacteria causing your parent’s pneumonia.
It’s important to take all the medicine as prescribed by the doctor, even if your loved one starts to feel better after a few days. Not taking the full course of antibiotics as prescribed can cause the infection to come back and the bacteria to become resistant to the medicine. This will make it more difficult to treat your loved one’s pneumonia.
Viral pneumonia doesn’t respond to antibiotics. If your aging relative’s pneumonia is from a virus, the doctor may prescribe antiviral medication. However, in some cases, rest and treatment to help relieve symptoms is all that’s needed.
Viral pneumonia usually heals in a few weeks, but if your loved one’s symptoms start to get worse, it’s important to see the doctor. Bacterial pneumonia is a possible complication of viral pneumonia.
Can pneumonia be treated at home?
Your loved one may receive treatment for pneumonia at home or at a hospital, depending on the severity of the disease, their age, and overall health condition.
Your senior relative may need to be hospitalized if they have other respiratory or heart conditions. They may also need to be treated at a hospital if they need help breathing or if they have severe symptoms, including:
- Rapid breathing
- Low blood pressure
- A very low or very fast heart rate
If your loved one is recovering from pneumonia after a hospital stay and needs help with daily activities, consider a short-term stay at an assisted living community. Respite care allows you and your loved one peace of mind that someone is available 24 hours a day for assistance and immediate response if there’s an emergency.
Preventing pneumonia in older adults
You can help your aging loved one prevent pneumonia by encouraging them to follow these steps:
- Get the pneumococcal vaccine
Talk to the doctor about what type of pneumococcal vaccine is right for your aging parent.
- Get the flu shot each year
Pneumonia can be a secondary infection after an initial bout of influenza. People who get the flu shot have a lower risk of developing pneumonia as a complication of the flu.
- Wash handsthoroughly and often
Especially before and after preparing food, before eating, and after using the bathroom.
- Practice good health habits
Stay physically active, and eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
- Manage chronic conditions
Conditions can include asthma, COPD, diabetes, and more.
- Don’t smoke
If you’re a smoker, talk to your doctor about help with quitting smoking.
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. “Pneumonia.” https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/pneumonia.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Pneumonia: an infection of the lungs.” https://www.cdc.gov/pneumonia/index.html.
American Lung Association. “Pneumonia.” https://www.lung.org/lung-health-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/pneumonia.
Ramirez J.A. “Overview of community-acquired pneumonia in adults.” https://www.uptodate.com/contents/overview-of-community-acquired-pneumonia-in-adults.
90,000 What are the symptoms of pneumonia and how is it treated in adults and children?
Lung inflammation or pneumonia is a viral disease that affects lung tissue and interferes with the normal exchange of oxygen between air and blood. Inflammatory secretions that enter the alveoli prevent the body from getting enough oxygen. And if the disease affects most of the lungs, acute respiratory failure develops.
People with weak immune systems, children and the elderly are susceptible to pneumonia. Every year in Russia alone, 1.5 million people suffer from the disease, and 30% of them are young children and people over 70 years old.
But pneumonia can and should be treated! And it is recommended to do this using an integrated approach. Treatment of any disease begins with the correct diagnosis. Therefore, at the first signs of the development of pathology, seek the advice of a specialist.
What are the first symptoms of pneumonia, how to correctly and comprehensively approach treatment and what is required to diagnose the disease, we will tell in this article.
Reasons for the development of pneumonia
Pneumonia develops when bacteria and viruses enter the lungs, as well as foreign agents that affect part or all of the lung tissue. Pathogens of pathology enter the human body by the respiratory route, rarely through the blood.
Why does the disease develop rapidly in the body of a person with reduced immunity? Bacteria are constantly present in our body, but defense mechanisms prevent them from multiplying, causing pathology.But if the immune system is weakened, the harmful microflora increases the population, which leads to the appearance of an inflammatory process.
Also, viral pneumonia often develops against the background of the spread of colds of the upper respiratory tract (bronchitis, tracheitis). Also, the cause of pneumonia can be hypothermia, stress, overwork, smoking abuse. The risk of developing the disease is increased in people with chronic diseases and obesity.
Signs of pneumonia in an adult
When a disease occurs, a person’s body temperature rises, which can reach 38 °, there is a general weakness throughout the body, a headache, the patient wants to lie down and relax. A few days later, a strong paroxysmal cough appears, sputum appears.
Pain in the chest, especially in the focus of inflammation, as well as the appearance of shortness of breath indicate the severity of the situation and clearly indicate pneumonia.
General signs are indicated here, however, the nature and timing of their manifestation may differ depending on the type of pneumonia. With viral pneumonia, the first symptoms appear rapidly and the patient feels a sharp deterioration in well-being. From the very beginning of the disease, there is pain in the muscles, high body temperature, severe headache, and a painful dry cough.
On the contrary, bacterial pneumonia develops gradually. The disease begins only 2 weeks after the first signs appear.After this, there is a sharp relief, an improvement in the general condition of the patient, then the temperature rises again sharply, there is a headache, a cough intensifies, and purulent sputum appears.
One of the serious types of the disease is atypical bilateral pneumonia, which extensively affects the lung tissue and develops respiratory failure. In terms of its symptoms, bilateral pneumonia resembles a cold viral infection, and characteristic wheezing is not yet heard in the lungs.Many begin to heal on their own, which aggravates the condition.
At first, the sick person thinks that his condition has improved, the symptoms of pathology begin to go away. But then the cough gets worse and the second wave of the disease begins.
Symptoms may vary slightly in older adults. First of all, there is a dry cough, shortness of breath during small physical exertion on the body or even at rest. Often, the disease proceeds without an increase in temperature in people of mature age.
Signs of pneumonia in a child
Often pneumonia in children appears as a complication of any viral infection (ARVI, flu, etc.).
- Cough that gets worse over time;
- If the baby’s well-being improved, and then it became bad again, this may indicate the presence of complications;
- Each deep breath leads to a violent attack of coughing;
- There is a strong pallor of the skin against the background of the development of the listed symptoms;
- The onset of shortness of breath.
Is pneumonia contagious?
The inflammatory process in the pulmonary system most often appears due to the multiplication of the virus and as a complication of the transferred flu or ARVI. It is impossible to get sick with pneumonia itself in such cases, but it is easy to catch the disease that became the root cause. That is, pneumonia itself is not contagious, and the development of inflammation in the lungs is an independent complication that arose against the background of weakened immunity and improper self-medication.
How is pneumonia spread?
The disease can be transmitted in many ways, including:
- Airborne droplet method. During illness, droplets form on the mucous membrane of the mouth and nose, which spread through the air during sneezing and coughing. You can get infected by airborne droplets in any public place: hospital, store, public transport. The pathogenic pathogen spreads through the air along with particles of mucus, sputum, saliva.
- Pin. Also, the infection is transmitted during contact – handshake, hug, kiss. People are exposed to infection when they touch contaminated objects or when they touch their mouth, eyes, nose with dirty hands.
- Household. The infection can be transmitted through shared towels, dishes and bedding. Therefore, the patient must be provided with personal hygiene items, and, as far as possible, they should be changed and washed.
- Fecal. The virus survives up to two days in fecal matter with normal bowel movements. The disease can be easily adopted by improper toilet cleaning or personal hygiene. To prevent contamination, especially from small children, it is important to constantly wash your hands after cleaning the baby pot, change diapers often and thoroughly wash the place of bowel movement.
However, personal hygiene items need to be handled very carefully.It has been proven that a viral microorganism can survive up to 4 hours on any surface. Pathogenic bacteria are not afraid of frost, even with bleach it can be destroyed only five minutes after direct processing.
Pneumonia and bronchitis: what is the difference?
Both diseases affect the human respiratory system, which means they have similar symptoms. It is often difficult to distinguish two pathologies from each other.
|In most cases, it is accompanied by a sharp increase in temperature up to 38-39 ° and a feverish state.A slight increase in temperature is observed.||It is accompanied by a strong dry cough. In some cases, sputum may appear greenish in color or streaked with blood. Moist cough, sputum has a light shade.|
|When listening to the chest, “wet” wheezing is heard.||When listening to the chest, “dry” wheezing is heard.|
How is pneumonia diagnosed?
If a child suffers from the disease, you need to seek an examination by a pediatrician.If an adult, make an appointment with a therapist who will refer you, if necessary, to a specialized specialist. The doctor will conduct an external examination, take an anamnesis, study the medical history and learn about the symptoms of the disease that appear.
You will be referred for laboratory tests:
- Complete blood count;
- General urine analysis;
- Sputum analysis – is performed to determine the inflammatory process in the body, as well as the causative agent of pneumonia and its sensitivity to antibiotics.
Of the diagnostic methods of research, you will be assigned:
- Chest X-ray – the images show darkening in places of tissue damage;
- Computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging – are used as additional measures when other methods do not allow an accurate diagnosis.
Methods for treating pneumonia
If the pneumonia is bacterial in nature, antibiotics are prescribed.Their effectiveness can be assessed after 48-72 hours. If the temperature drops, the cough becomes less frequent, and the patient begins to feel better, the intake continues. It is impossible to interrupt the course of medications, and it is important to take them correctly as prescribed by the doctor. If antibiotics do not help, another treatment is prescribed or changed to a drug from a different group.
With viral pneumonia, antibiotics are not effective, so antiviral drugs are prescribed. Vitamins and immunomodulators can be prescribed as auxiliary substances.
As soon as the patient’s body temperature has returned to normal, physiotherapy can be prescribed. It allows you to remove phlegm from the lungs. For this, phytopreparations are often taken, for example, licorice root or complex breast preparations.
Together with drug treatment, patients need bed rest, food with protein and vitamins, and plenty of warm drinks. For the best effect, therapeutic methods are recommended – electrophoresis, inhalation, massage, magnetotherapy, etc.etc.
Vaccination against pneumonia as prevention
It is worth getting vaccinated against pneumococcal infection in cases where:
- Frequent outbreaks of disease;
- Visiting public areas;
- Work in a bacteriological laboratory;
- Frequent pneumonia, ARVI and influenza from which the patient suffers.
There are several drugs that are given intravenously to protect against disease.All of them differ in their composition, cost and breadth of the spectrum of action.
In adulthood, the vaccine is given once, a persistent immune response to the pathogen is developed in 2-3 weeks. But at the same time, experts recommend vaccinating once every 5 years.
The diagnosis and treatment of pneumonia is carried out by the specialists of the Medyunion clinic. You can make an appointment with a specialist in one of the most convenient ways for you:
- Online on our medyunion website.ru. Fill out the electronic form, indicating your contact information, doctor’s specialization, convenient date and time for an appointment.
- Request a call back, indicating your name and phone number. Our managers will call you back within 15 minutes and answer your questions.
- Call the registry of the medical clinic at +7 (391) 202-95-80.
“Covid” pneumonia does not look like usual
“Covid” pneumonia does not look like normal pneumonia
More than four and a half thousand people in the Arkhangelsk region since the beginning of the pandemic have had a new COVID-19 infection and recovered.More than two thousand are now undergoing treatment. And if with a mild form of coronavirus, there may not be any symptoms at all , then against the background of moderate and severe, pneumonia often develops .
What determines the health of the lungs and how to recover from an illness – Anna Karabet, a pulmonologist at the First City Clinical Hospital named after V.I. E. E. Volosevich.
The disease does not respond to antibiotics
– Anna Alexandrovna, is there any regularity: who is most vulnerable to pneumonia ? What contributes to its occurrence?
– Risk factors include the presence of chronic diseases, the state of the immune system and lifestyle.Much depends on whether a person has respiratory problems – for example, asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, other chronic lung diseases. Patients with such diagnoses are always more at risk of developing pneumonia. As well as people with weakened immunity, diseases of the cardiovascular system, diabetes mellitus. If colds occur frequently, several times a year, then it is imperative to look for the cause. Perhaps there is some kind of disease that has a negative effect on the immune system as a defense against external factors.And of course, it is important how a person eats, whether he leads an active lifestyle, smokes or not.
– How does the one that occurs against the background of coronavirus differ from ordinary pneumonia ? And how does this affect the patient’s recovery after treatment?
– Pneumonia, which is the most common and with which we work most often, is caused by bacteria. They proceed differently than viral ones.First, they respond well to antibiotics. Second, resolution of bacterial pneumonia usually occurs fairly quickly. Of course, there are situations when a patient is admitted in a serious condition and is even in the intensive care unit – then the treatment is more complicated and the recovery process is longer. As for viral pneumonia, this phenomenon is also not new. We have encountered them before. For example, when they were caused by a flu infection. But covid pneumonia is a different story.In general, the coronavirus as such has existed for a long time, people have been sick with it in the last century, but it was not the same as it is now, and did not cause such serious manifestations. This pneumonia does not respond to antibiotics. Complicating the situation is the fact that so far there is no drug in the world directly to combat COVID-19. The course of the disease is different, it develops according to a special mechanism and affects other structural units of the lungs. On computed tomography, we see in patients, as a rule, bilateral serious changes and rather slow positive dynamics.- The most severe patients with coronavirus are connected to a ventilator. How does being on mechanical ventilation affect the further state of the respiratory system? – The use of a ventilator has no long-term consequences. Complications can occur with mechanical ventilation, but in the presence of certain chronic lung diseases. Such situations are a rare phenomenon, resuscitators control the process and immediately take the necessary measures. So artificial ventilation is not a procedure to be feared.On the contrary, it is of great help when the lung cannot breathe on its own: the apparatus takes over this work.
Inflating the balloon – big mistake
– How does a patient recover from pneumonia? Is rehabilitation required?
– Since the treatment of viral pneumonia is a long and difficult process, the recovery does not always go smoothly. Changes in the lungs in patients can “freeze” for some time, remain in one state for a long time.After being discharged from the hospital, a person may have a slight dry cough and asthenia – weakness, increased fatigue. Of course, many patients are intimidated by this. Imagine the situation: a person used to not be sick with anything serious, was strong, strong and athletic, and now he constantly experiences weakness, discomfort in the chest, cannot breathe as usual. People with chronic respiratory diseases over time adapt to such manifestations and learn to cope with them. For those who encounter for the first time, this causes panic.Therefore, if treatment is no longer required, and the above manifestations remain, then attention should be paid to the patient’s rehabilitation. In particular, to carry out breathing exercises. There is a special technique according to the Buteyko method, it is very effective. But training must be selected strictly individually. Physiotherapists, physiotherapy instructors perform this breathing exercises and educate patients. It is important to do breathing exercises strictly in accordance with the doctor’s prescription. Sometimes a person is discharged from the hospital and upon returning home, instead of the prescribed set of exercises, he begins to inflate balls, blow into a tube.This is a big mistake. Such methods are also used, but for other pathologies. With this type of pneumonia, this is contraindicated – you cannot inhale and exhale sharply when we do gymnastics. Breathing should be very slow and calm, even gentle. There are also special breathing machines that help restore health. The body has muscles that help us breathe, activate breathing. And these machines help your muscles work so they function better. There are a lot of breathing simulators, they are different, and you can use them only on the recommendation of a doctor.Many patients after severe pneumonia, when they were in intensive care, lose weight. Therefore, we recommend protein food – meat, fish, dairy products. The third important stage of rehabilitation is psychological support. People are really scared, they went through a difficult and completely new stage of life for them. As I already gave an example: a person was an active athlete, and now he cannot breathe properly during physical exertion – it is scary for him. Therefore, it is important that the doctor can not only prescribe treatment and rehabilitation, but also psychologically adjust correctly, explain that this is a temporary phenomenon, you just need to work on yourself, follow the doctor’s recommendations and over time everything will recover – just not as quickly as we would like.
– Anna Alexandrovna, what does lung health depend on?
– Here we need to talk about the factors affecting the health of the entire respiratory system, since the lungs are part of it and they do not exist separately. First of all, it is heredity – something that is transmitted genetically from parents. Health largely depends on how the pregnancy proceeded – what lifestyle the mother led, what she was ill with and how this affected the development of the fetus.There are situations when a child is already born with a defect in the respiratory system, and sometimes such disorders on the part of genetics may not appear immediately, but in the first years of his life. The second is the negative factors that we face in the process of life. For example, emissions of toxic substances into the air: sulfur, nitrogen oxides, aldehydes, nitrates … First of all, this applies to those regions where hazardous production is located. Some people have to constantly work with chemicals – with ammonia or chlorine, with professional biological substances such as wood dust, cement, quartz, coal.This also affects health, and how much depends on how long they interact with these substances, what is the concentration of these substances per unit of time and what safety measures are taken. And the third factor is smoking, which is very bad for the lungs. Now many have switched to electronic cigarettes, hookahs. They are positioned as a less harmful option for health, since there is no nicotine. In fact, studies have been carried out on e-cigarettes, and it has been revealed that nicotine is contained there to some extent.As a result, some make money from this bad habit of millions of people, while others are trying to fight it. The person himself is between these two sides, and a lot depends on his choice.
– Is it possible to increase the endurance of the lungs, reduce the risk of worsening their condition?
– First of all, if there are no contraindications, you must definitely go in for sports. Such breathing loads are important and beneficial for the body.Especially in childhood, when the lungs and the entire respiratory system are being formed. How it will develop – with that person and will have to live the rest of his life. It is necessary to strive to reduce the risk of respiratory infections, which can become a catalyst for pneumonia, and bronchopulmonary diseases. In particular, timely vaccination plays an important role here. Due to the high humidity in our region, the climate is not very favorable for the respiratory organs, so it is imperative to go where the sea, mountains, pine forests are.And of course, to lead a healthy lifestyle – this recommendation is relevant for the prevention of any disease.
Source: city newspaper “Arkhangelsk – the city of military glory” No. 53. July 15, 2020.
SARS masks | Articles of the clinic Medservice
Inflammation of the lungs has “learned” to disguise itself. The insidiousness of this disease lies in the fact that recently, very often it proceeds without characteristic symptoms and signs that make it possible to suspect it.Moreover, on popular X-ray or, as they say in everyday life, “X-ray”, pneumonia is not always detected.
Everything went wrong
In the classical course of pneumonia, the characteristic symptoms are high, above 38.5 degrees Celsius, fever, severe cough, often with purulent sputum, severe weakness, shortness of breath. In blood tests, a high erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and an increase in leukocytes are noted.
But this, with the so-called typical course of pneumonia.In my practice, more and more often there are patients who are diagnosed with pneumonia in the absence of the above symptoms.
A typical example – I was approached by a young man who complained of a dry cough, weakness, which he attributed to ARVI. The temperature did not rise above 37.2. He had been suffering from these symptoms for 10 days. He had previously undergone a chest x-ray and was diagnosed with bronchitis. But, the therapy prescribed at the same time did not help.This made him turn to me. After the examination, I suspected pneumonia and referred the patient for a computed tomography, during which the lung lesions characteristic of this disease were visualized.
And this is far from the only case. A trend has been established when pneumonia proceeds without an increase in temperature, with a dry cough, and good blood tests. Sometimes with a high fever, but no coughing. Weakness, while, as a rule, is attributed to fatigue, fatigue.
The main causative agents of pneumonia, a disease described by Hippocrates, are streptococcus (pneumococcus), as well as mycoplasma and chlamydia. At the same time, an alarming trend is the increase in the number of cases when pneumonia is a complication after the transferred viral infections, which we used to call ARVI, ARI, influenza.
Sometimes pneumonia is fatal. In Russia last year alone, she claimed more than 18 thousand lives, and was diagnosed in almost one million people.At the same time, there is a permanent increase in the incidence. At the epicenter of the risk zone are people with weakened immunity, children under five years old and people of the older generation – those who are 65 years old or more. Underdiagnosis and self-medication exacerbate the situation.
Signs of “atypical” pneumonia
It is difficult to give a complete list of symptoms and signs that a patient has pneumonia. And I would not like our recommendations to be regarded as a guide for self-diagnosis.Nevertheless, I would like to draw the attention of our readers to some points.
With a sluggish ARVI, which lasted several days and was accompanied by a weak cough, a slight runny nose, weakness – a sign of pneumonia may even be a single rise in temperature, after seemingly improving health. An increase in coughing is the same signal. In these cases, it is necessary to urgently contact a medical institution for medical help.
If the high temperature lasts only two or three days, and not five or six, as it happened with the classic course of pneumonia, then it is already appropriate to send such a patient to the diagnosis of pneumonia.But the same disease can be hidden. Sometimes it is detected two to three weeks after the onset of the disease, often after the patient is discharged. Temporary relief from therapy appears to be imaginary.
What Confidence Can Give
“My dad was 70 years old. In early March, I fell ill, the therapist prescribed treatment for ARVI. Then he got worse. On March 15, the temperature rose, an ambulance was called, the doctor who arrived examined him well, there was a suspicion of pneumonia. The X-ray did not confirm the diagnosis, and the father was sent home.On March 27, an ambulance was called again, an X-ray was taken again, and again pneumonia was not confirmed. Despite a poor blood count and severe shortness of breath, no reason was found for hospitalization. March 29 – an ambulance was called again, this time an X-ray showed bilateral pneumonia with complete damage to both lungs. They were immediately taken to the intensive care unit, where my father died the next day. Question: could the X-ray fail to see pneumonia? ” – I found this sad case on the Internet. Pay attention to the dates – everything happened within two weeks.
“Could the X-ray fail to see pneumonia?” – this question is answered by a clinical case, which I described above. But once again I will note – “a regular X-ray” may “not see” pneumonia. This study, given the modern features of the course of pneumonia, is completely unreliable. Based on my practice, I can say that only computed tomography (CT) can give an unequivocal answer to the question whether there is pneumonia or not.
CT allows you to simultaneously study in detail all sections and segments of the lung tissue and bronchial “tree”, all structures of the chest: mediastinal organs, blood vessels, lymph nodes.This is not possible with conventional radiography.
Moreover, if a doctor diagnosed pneumonia based on the results of an X-ray, prescribed treatment, and the patient does not get better, then this is another reason to do a computed tomography. At one time, I was approached by an elderly man who was hospitalized with suspected pneumonia. He underwent several X-rays and prescribed four (!) Courses of antibiotics. There was no improvement. I immediately had a question – was there pneumonia? Is it being treated for? The patient was referred for CT.Unfortunately, in this particular case, he was diagnosed with a malignant tumor in the lungs.
If, nevertheless, pneumonia was diagnosed
The duration of the course of antibiotic therapy for pneumonia is at least one and a half to two weeks. It is prescribed individually, taking into account the characteristics of the patient, analyzes, CT scan results, where the localization of the lesions is determined. Depending on the severity of the condition, the doctor determines where the patient will be treated – in a hospital or on an outpatient basis.In parallel with this, symptomatic treatment is carried out under the supervision of a doctor to eliminate cough, weakness. A working patient receives a certificate of incapacity for work.
I draw your attention to the fact that three to four weeks after the start of treatment, it is imperative to do a control study on a computed tomograph. This will make sure that there are no signs of lung tissue damage and confirm the success of the treatment.
In conclusion, I want to once again appeal to the readers – do not self-medicate.Pneumonia is an insidious disease that disguises itself as “ordinary” ARVI, ARI. If you or your attending physician have a suspicion of pneumonia, do a CT scan of the lungs. Be healthy!
Chief Pulmonologist of the Ministry of Health: we are faced with the development of absolutely asymptomatic forms of pneumonia
Medical topic from morning to evening. Everywhere. And an avalanche of advice from “experts” – how to treat coronavirus, how to treat it, where to treat it … The problems of heart attacks and strokes, tumors and diabetes have gone into the shadows.Pneumonia predominates. The coronavirus is not scary. The pneumonia caused by it is terrible. And how really? The columnist “RG” talks about this with the chief pulmonologist of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Sergei Avdeev.
Sergey Nikolaevich, you are the chief pulmonologist of Russia, head of the pulmonology department of the Sechenov Medical University, the author of fundamental works on pulmonary problems. How is the current pneumonia caused by the coronavirus different from the common pneumonia we know?
Sergey Avdeev: The current atypical pneumonia, or viral pneumonia, is really different from the community-acquired pneumonia that we dealt with before.Although viral pneumonia has been known to us for a long time. Think of the h2N1 flu pandemic. But the pneumonia associated with the new coronavirus is unusual. This is due to the fact that in patients with COVID-19 we observe very different degrees of lung damage with completely different clinical manifestations. For example, there were patients in whom the new coronavirus was confirmed by laboratory tests.
But who have absolutely no complaints, symptoms or signs of illness. There is no fever, no cough, no shortness of breath.At the same time, when carrying out computed tomography in patients, signs of pneumonia are found. Let me give you an example of the story of the “Diamond Princess” cruise ship. As you remember, there was a high incidence of coronavirus infection on board this ship. Some of the patients were examined using computed tomography of the lungs. It was found that 73% of patients with laboratory-confirmed coronavirus infection had absolutely no symptoms. Among these asymptomatic patients, there were changes on computed tomography of the lungs, indicating the presence of pneumonia.They were found in 54% of patients. That is, the overwhelming majority. This means that today we are faced with the fact of the possibility of developing absolutely asymptomatic forms of pneumonia.
The main reason for hospitalization in most of our patients is the development of viral pneumonia. In patients admitted to the hospital, in almost 95-100% of cases, we see changes corresponding to pneumonia. The changes are different, including very difficult ones. One of the features of viral pneumonia is its rapid progression, up to the development of acute respiratory distress syndrome.This is a serious condition characterized by acute respiratory failure, requiring the transfer of patients to respiratory support. Including artificial ventilation. Approximately 10% of hospitalized patients require such a procedure.
Are special diagnostic methods required in the management of patients with viral pneumonia?
Sergey Avdeev: Yes, of course. Today, a lot of emphasis is placed on computed tomography of the lungs. This method belongs to image diagnostics, as well as radiography.But computed tomography is a more accurate and specific technique for detecting changes in the lung tissue compared to conventional radiography. Most COVID-19 patients require this technique. Today I would put computed tomography in the first place among all available methods for confirming the diagnosis. In its sensitivity, it even surpasses laboratory diagnostics to confirm a viral infection. The sensitivity of computed tomography is over 90%.
At the same time, negative results of laboratory diagnostics are possible in 2-30% of patients with COVID-19.This is not due to the quality of the reagents or tests. There are simply certain conditions that affect the results. This is the time of occurrence of the infection, the place of collection of biological material, the quality of the collection, and so on. And it turns out that with the help of computed tomography, the case of coronavirus infection itself is sometimes seen earlier than when using laboratory tests.
Is the CT scan of a patient with coronavirus pneumonia different from regular pneumonia?
Sergey Avdeev: Yes, there are significant differences.With COVID-19, pneumonia is almost always bilateral, located on the periphery of the lungs (under the pleural membrane). At the initial stages, it looks like, as radiologists say, “frosted glass”. With progression, the changes become denser and more widespread. And then there is a phase of reverse development – a decrease in the size and density of pulmonary infiltrates.
How is new pneumonia treated?
Sergey Avdeev : We mainly use drug therapy aimed at combating viral infection.Unfortunately, we are faced with a situation where, in fact, we do not have real antiviral drugs specially created against this coronavirus. Preclinical studies are the basis for prescribing existing drugs. And also small studies that studied these drugs in patients with similar coronavirus infections (SARS – severe acute respiratory syndrome, which appeared in China in 2002-2003, and MERS – Middle East respiratory syndrome, recorded in Saudi Arabia in 2012.). That is, there is no real evidence base yet.
The range of drugs prescribed for coronavirus includes those that were previously used to treat rheumatic diseases, HIV infection, and multiple sclerosis. We use them in the most severe patients. In some cases, we see a certain effectiveness of these drugs. Although it is difficult to say that this drug therapy is effective for all patients without exception. And of course, now in many countries dozens of studies are being carried out aimed at finding an effective drug.
Another important part of treatment is supportive care, and especially respiratory support. I mean oxygen therapy, invasive lung ventilation, artificial lung ventilation. These are the activities that are carried out when the patient has problems with the supply of oxygen to organs and tissues. The main cause of respiratory failure is the same pneumonia. The larger the affected area, the greater the risk of developing hypoxemia – a lack of oxygen.
The presence of a viral infection in itself determines absolutely special conditions for the approach from the point of view of medical personnel…
Sergey Avdeev: You’ve probably seen for yourself that all doctors and nurses are dressed in personal protective equipment: masks, respirators, glasses, gloves, shoe covers, overalls. Unfortunately, in this uniform, doctors, nurses, nursing staff are forced to work for hours, practically throughout the whole working day. To put it mildly, this is very, very difficult. The work of doctors in modern conditions can only arouse admiration!
Sergey Nikolaevich, is it always necessary to treat patients with coronavirus infection in a hospital? Can I go home?
Sergey Avdeev: T As in most cases the infection is mild, we can say that the majority of hospitalization is not required.The most severe ones are sent to the hospital. Today, doctors have very clear criteria signaling the severity of the disease: shortness of breath, decreased oxygen levels, and others.
And the disputes about the benefits or, on the contrary, about the dangers of a cigarette, a glass of vodka? Will they protect you from infection or worsen the situation? Does smoking and drinking matter for a new viral infection?
Sergey Avdeev: Of course! According to the experience of Chinese doctors, among smokers, transfer to intensive care is 30-40% higher.Perhaps it is smoking that explains the fact that so far the majority of the sick are men. With regard to alcohol, everything is simpler here: excessive enthusiasm leads to a weakening of the natural defense factors that are necessary to resist viral infections.
The epidemic will end sooner or later. What are the consequences after suffering a coronavirus infection?
Sergey Avdeev: The consequences depend on the severity of the disease.When it comes to severe pneumonia, there may be residual effects in the form of local fibrosis. Today, the topic of pulmonary fibrosis is often raised. But speaking of such evidence, of confirmed data, there are not so many of them today. We understand, of course, that the consequences of severe pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome can lead to residual effects in the lungs. Coronavirus pneumonia is no exception. But so far, the period of observation of recovered patients is short. And it is too early to draw conclusions about what proportion of patients will have fibrosis, what severity, what drugs will be used, I will not dare.Some time must pass.
How has the crown affected your work? Will anything change after we cope with the coronavirus infection?
Sergey Avdeev: If you say that we have a lot of work, then say nothing! We are at the forefront of the fight against a new viral infection. My clinic is currently treating 300 patients with COVID-19! Almost everyone has viral pneumonia. Many require oxygen therapy, non-invasive ventilation, and mechanical ventilation.On the basis of Sechenov University, the largest coronavirus hospital in Russia with 2,000 beds is being formed, deployed in university hospitals of the university.
Regarding the changes … I hope there will be. Especially considering all the positive changes that are taking place today. Finally, the understanding comes that medicine is not a service area, but a strategically important area that needs development and funding.
The attitude towards doctors has changed in a very positive way. The work of a doctor is becoming respected, doctors are beginning to get what they deserve.In my memory, doctors almost for the first time feel the comprehensive support of our society!
Finally, the understanding comes that medicine is not a service area, but a strategically important area that needs development and funding.
Notice how much attention is paid today to specialties that many ordinary people have not even heard of. A pulmonologist is a doctor who treats lung diseases. This area was usually not heard of. Although we all understand that respiratory diseases are quite common, take the same bronchitis or bronchial asthma.But the paradox was that it was not profitable to have pulmonology departments in hospitals. Because the payment for a pulmonary event is not very high. It is more profitable to have surgical departments that earn more money. And there are few specialists in the field of pulmonology. Let’s hope that the current situation will give an impetus to the development of our specialty. The same can be said about resuscitation, infectious diseases, virology, and many others. As it turned out, there are no secondary medical specialties…
90,000 symptoms, treatment of pneumonia in adults – Dobrobut clinic
Inflammation of the lungs – types, symptoms, treatment
Pneumonia (inflammation of the lungs) is an inflammatory process that develops in one or two lungs at the same time. As a rule, pneumonia has an infectious etiology: it can be triggered by viruses, fungi or pathogenic bacteria. Prescribing the treatment of pneumonia in adults is always variable and depends on what type of disease is diagnosed.
The pathology in question may be the result of a common cold. Therefore, in the event of the characteristic symptoms of pneumonia, it is necessary to consult a family doctor as soon as possible.
Types and symptoms of pneumonia
Clinical manifestations of pneumonia are largely determined by the cause of the disease, as well as the prevalence of the infiltrative process in the lung tissue. By the volume of the lesion, there are: focal, polysegmental, lobar. Also, the process can be one-way or two-way.Common manifestations of pneumonia are general weakness, fatigue, chills, a sharp rise in body temperature to high numbers of 38-40 ° C. A common symptom is a dry cough, which eventually becomes moist with difficult-to-discharge mucopurulent sputum. When, with pneumonia, it is involved in the pleura process, it is accompanied by a pronounced pain syndrome, which intensifies when trying to take a deep breath. A severe course of pneumonia is often accompanied by shortness of breath, pallor or blueness of the skin in the area of the nasolabial triangle.In children, the elderly, symptoms of intoxication can significantly predominate in the clinical picture. Depending on the volume of damage to the lung tissue, focal, lobar and total forms of pneumonia are distinguished. Focal pneumonia develops gradually: the temperature rises, a dry cough appears. Croupous pneumonia begins with an increase in body temperature to 39-40 ° C, severe chills, pain in the chest, and coughing. The disease may be accompanied by shortness of breath, febrile blush of the cheeks, which is more pronounced on the affected side.
Daily fluctuations in body temperature with pneumonia can be within 1.5 degrees. The increase is observed most often in the evening. As a rule, jumps in body temperature with timely medical intervention last up to 3 days.
With lobar pneumonia, blood streaks may appear in the sputum of a patient.
Doctors must also carry out a complete diagnosis and differentiate pneumonia from tuberculosis – the symptoms of these diseases are identical.
Types according to the condition of occurrence
Community-acquired pneumonia and nosocomial (hospital) pneumonia are distinguished.A nosocomial form is considered a form that develops in a hospital, clinic 48 hours after the patient is hospitalized for other indications. This type of pneumonia is distinguished due to the characteristics of the course and treatment, since in the conditions of hospitals and hospitals, strains of infectious pathogens that are resistant to antibiotic therapy often develop.
Aspiration form, which develops as a result of the entry into the lower respiratory tract of the contents of the oral cavity, nasopharynx or stomach, as well as foreign particles in the form of solids.Bacterial pathogens found in aspiration masses or objects develop and cause a severe type of inflammation with purulent complications: the production of purulent sputum, difficulty in its transportation and significant damage to the lung tissue.
There are several more types and forms of the considered inflammatory process. All data on this, as well as information on how to cure pneumonia, can be found on the pages of our website: https://www.dobrobut.com/.
General rules for the treatment of pneumonia
Before starting therapy aimed at getting rid of the pathology, the patient must undergo a full examination.Any diagnostic and therapeutic procedures / manipulations are carried out only in a hospital setting. If pneumonia is diagnosed without fever and cough, specialists must rule out other respiratory diseases – for example, tuberculosis or oncology.
The choice of the treatment regimen and the specific selection of drugs is carried out on an individual basis. But there is also a general principle of therapy for the inflammatory process in the lungs:
- Antibacterial drugs.Must be appointed without fail. If pneumonia proceeds typically and without complications, then antibiotics are prescribed in tablets / capsules, in all other cases, intravenous drugs are administered.
- Symptomatic therapy. Used drugs such as mucolytics, mucokinetics, antipyretic drugs. The purpose of prescribing these drugs is to relieve symptoms, which improves the course of the disease.
- Physiotherapy. If a patient has unilateral pneumonia without coughing and a critical increase in temperature, then in a hospital setting, he can be prescribed a variety of physiotherapeutic procedures.
- Additional methods are also used, which include herbal therapy and breathing exercises.
Usually, the course of treatment lasts from 10 days to two weeks.
How to treat pneumonia, the doctor must determine – self-medication is fraught with the development of serious complications. A timely and competent course of treatment avoids the development of chronic pneumonia and complications.
Pneumonia – multifactorial disease – Konchalovsky City Clinical Hospital
The most dangerous complication of a new coronavirus infection is pneumonia.The head of our pulmonology department, chief freelance specialist-pulmonologist of Zelenograd Evgeny Bezlepko told reporters about the peculiarities of the course of various forms of this disease, symptoms, risks and approaches to treatment.
The material was published in the latest issue of the newspaper “Moscow Medicine. Cito “No. 15 (117) dated 20.04.2020
– Evgeny Alexandrovich, what is pneumonia?
– Pneumonia, or pneumonia, is an acute inflammatory disease of the lower respiratory tract, but the exact causes of its occurrence are not fully understood.In many cases, the disease begins with hypothermia and respiratory infection. Then colonization of the lower respiratory tract occurs. When bacteria or viruses enter the respiratory tract, they invade the alveoli. Many factors influence the development of pneumonia. In fact, this is a combination of the patient’s immune status, the ability of local immunity to fight the pathogenic flora in the bronchi, the presence of chronic diseases and pathological processes that develop in the lung tissue. Much depends on the degree of aggressiveness of bacteria and the massiveness of their penetration into the tracheobronchial tree, the ability of the human body to effectively eliminate bacteria from the bronchi.It is known that the likelihood of contracting pneumonia is much higher in people with weakened or suppressed immunity. At risk are patients with chronic lung diseases, congestive heart failure, diabetes mellitus, oncology, HIV infection. And also representatives of the older generation 65+.
– What are the types of pneumonia?
– The virus is not always a key link in the pathogenesis of this disease. Depending on the pathogen, bacterial, viral, fungal pneumonia are distinguished.In the first case, the disease is caused directly by the bacteria. In the second, the primary damage to the lungs is caused by a virus. And only then, after 4–7 days, the lung tissue damaged by the virus is colonized by a bacterial agent, causing a complication in the form of bacterial pneumonia.
– Is there a stage in the development of the disease?
– With a primary bacterial infection, the disease develops rapidly. A person’s temperature rises sharply, a cough with sputum production appears, and there is direct damage to the lung tissue by bacteria.Viral pneumonia develops in several stages. In more detail, in most cases, the virus first infects the upper respiratory tract. Then it penetrates into the lower parts of the respiratory tract and causes damage to alveocytes (cells lining the alveoli). The immune system is activated, and a complex, not fully understood immune response is triggered. The cells of the immune system migrate to the alveoli. Inflammatory mediators are produced. In the best case, this is where it all ends. The body defeats the virus, the lung damage is limited, and the lung tissue recovers.In the worst case, a large volume of produced anti-inflammatory agents attracts more and more inflammatory cells, the phenomenon of “autoaggression” and significant damage to the lung tissue occurs. The alveoli are filled with secretion, the capillaries are thrombosed, and, as a result, gas exchange is impaired. Severe respiratory failure occurs. This is fraught with the development of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Violation of oxygenation (the process of enriching the blood with oxygen) leads to problems in other organs: heart, kidneys, brain.Such patients require respiratory support in the ICU setting.
– Does coronavirus pneumonia have any developmental features in contrast to other types of pneumonia, including complications of influenza?
– According to scientific research and medical practice, there is no particular difference. Viral-bacterial pneumonia with influenza, coronavirus and other severe viral diseases of the lungs differ little from each other and do not have specific features. There are “subtle points in the symptomatology”, but it is very difficult to capture them.So, for example, according to the latest recommendations, flu is characterized by a runny nose, and for coronavirus infection – more nasal congestion and loss of smell. But the classic picture is not found in all cases. The time frame for the development of coronavirus pneumonia is also similar to pneumonia caused, for example, by the influenza virus. But there are nuances. The virulence of the coronavirus is twice that of the flu. And as world practice shows, including the experience of China, a much larger number of patients with coronavirus infection need qualified medical care in a hospital.Potentially, any health care system can not cope with such a load, so it is necessary to introduce quarantine measures in order to prolong the pandemic in time, reduce this burden and have time to provide adequate assistance to all those in need.
– It is believed that in a person after suffering pneumonia, lung function is restored. And after the coronavirus?
– Even during the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemic, experts noted that ARDS in viral pneumonia can lead to fibrosis.That is, in a certain area of the lung, connective tissue proliferates and a scar is formed. The damaged area of the lung is not restored, but fibrotization occurs (replacement of normal lung tissue with connective tissue). However, most of the patients fully recovered from their illness.
With regard to COVID-19, there is not yet sufficient data and it is too early to draw conclusions. However, it can be assumed that in patients with severe ARDS, areas of fibrosis will form.But to what extent fibrotization of the lung tissue will occur, whether the functional ability of the lungs will be impaired, whether it will require further treatment, up to surgical intervention – all these points are for further study.
– Should you be vaccinated during a pandemic? How effective is pneumococcal vaccination in this regard?
– During a pandemic, it is not advisable to vaccinate against influenza, as this will create an additional burden on the immune system.The pneumococcal vaccine was developed to combat community-acquired pneumonia. In the vast majority of cases, its causative agent is pneumococcus. This vaccination is indicated for people at risk: the elderly and patients with chronic diseases and is quite effective for preventive purposes. But, unfortunately, it will not save you from viral pneumonia.
– What regimens are used today in the treatment of pneumonia?
– Standard treatment regimens have been developed for community-acquired pneumonia and are contained in federal clinical guidelines and treatment protocols.They depend on the patient’s age, the presence or absence of concomitant pathology, the patient’s possible stay in the hospital before the illness, antibiotic pretreatment and the possible pathogen that caused pneumonia. Similar regimens have been developed for the treatment of viral-bacterial pneumonia in influenza. Currently, there is no etiotropic therapy (aimed at eliminating the disease – fighting the virus) for the treatment of COVID-19 from the standpoint of evidence-based medicine. There is no data yet on what is the “intimate” mechanism of the virus’s effect on the immune system.Treatment is carried out “off label”, that is, drugs are used that are designed to treat other diseases. And so far, proper clinical studies have not been carried out, in the process of which their effectiveness would be proven. Treatment tactics are mainly based both on the collection and analysis of data published by specialists from the WHO, the Chinese, American and European centers for the treatment and prevention of coronavirus, as well as on the experience and opinions of leading specialists in our country. Undoubtedly, during a pandemic, anesthesiologists-resuscitators will gain the most important experience in the treatment of severe forms of ARDS in particular, and patients with respiratory pathology in general.I am sure that this will serve to introduce into practice new approaches in accompanying intensive care patients of this profile and a new round in the development of pulmonology.
Pneumonia: signs, symptoms and treatment
Types of pneumonia
This means that the disease is independent
Pneumonia is a complication from another illness
Inflammation developed during chemotherapy
The disease was caused by trauma
Types of pneumonia
The disease is distinguished by several factors.
Symptoms of the disease
Symptoms may vary depending on the type of disease, individual characteristics of the body or your age.
The main common signs of pneumonia are:
- general weakness,
- difficulty in breathing.
Make an appointment with a doctor
If you or your loved ones have these or similar signs of illness, see a doctor immediately.
You can choose an experienced pulmonologist here:
The risk group includes babies, children under 5 years old, the elderly 65 and older, people suffering from asthma and other lung diseases, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases.
Smoking and other bad habits also increase the likelihood of getting sick.
Facts about the disease
Common myths about pneumonia
Myth # 1: with the right treatment, you can be cured in a few days.
Actually: you can get rid of the symptoms in a few days, but you will not be able to completely overcome the disease during this time. The treatment will take at least 21 days.
Myth number 2: to get rid of cough with pneumonia will help warming up.
In fact, this myth is dangerous. Warming up will not only not help, but also worsen the condition.
Myth number 3: with inflammation, there will certainly be a cough and fever.
In fact, the disease can be almost asymptomatic.This can happen due to weakened immunity or individual characteristics of the body.
Myth No. 4: the disease is dangerous only for children and the elderly.
Actually: yes, these categories are at risk, but the disease is dangerous for everyone. Especially if you have a chronic illness.
How to distinguish pneumonia from acute respiratory viral infections, influenza and bronchitis
- Sweating has increased markedly. You feel hot and cold. Moreover, this condition may not be associated with changes in body temperature.
- You feel better, and after a few days your condition worsened. This is the body’s response to inflammation.
- You have completely or partially lost your appetite. Moreover, the sight and smell of food can start to cause disgust and even gagging.
- You have chest pain. This, like difficulty breathing, can be a sign of pulmonary edema.
- Mucous membranes have acquired a blue or violet tint. This can happen due to a lack of oxygen in the blood.
- The pulse has become more frequent or “jumping”.This symptom is also associated with a lack of oxygen.
When to see a doctor immediately
It is necessary to urgently call a doctor due to general symptoms if you have the following symptoms:
- Breathing increased (more than one breath in 2 seconds)
- The pressure dropped to 90 by 60 or more.
- Body temperature exceeded 38.5.
- Confusion has appeared.
- Your eyes darken and you feel a light-headed state
Treatment of pneumonia
Treating pneumonia with folk remedies is not only useless, but also life-threatening.Only a qualified doctor will select the right drugs that will help you recover.
You will be prescribed antibiotics and medications for symptomatic correction of your condition. To determine which medications to prescribe, you will be asked for the following tests:
- general blood test,
- general urinalysis,
- clinical sputum analysis.