Pneumonia is the inflammatory disease of lower respiratory airways which is characterized by an inflammatory induration in lung tissues. The disease threatens to develop various complications that can lead to fatal outcome, when the timely and appropriate treatment is not available.
Causes of the disease
Pneumonia occurs as a result of an infectious attack on the body; the source may be viral, bacterial or fungal origin. Infection mode is either air-borne or blood-borne. The risk factors contributing to pneumonia development are well-known by physicians. In children, pneumonia may occur against the following background:
- Respiratory infections
- Frequent colds, chronic angina (tonsillitis).
- Aspiration of a foreign body.
- Hypothermia, being in a draught.
- Body weakness, malnutrition, lack of proper hours.
In adulthood, favourable conditions for pneumonia occurrence may be created by the following factors:
- Chronic diseases, injuries and congenital respiratory defects.
- Lung congestion against the background of chronic diseases. This is how congestive pneumonia develops.
- Permanent stress, exhaustion, lack of the proper rest which is necessary for recuperation.
What symptoms do accompany pneumonia?
The disease may have various courses: in some instances it appears as chest pain and elevated body temperature on the earliest stage, in other instances it may be almost asymptomatic that prevents a physician from establishing the timely diagnosis. Common signs of pneumonia include:
- Elevated body temperature.
- Cough. At the beginning of the disease it may be non-productive. As the disease makes progress, productive cough with sputum appears (colour of the sputum might vary from clear-white to yellow, green, or even brown).
- Chest pain can be observed; it gets worse, when one is breathing in or coughing.
- General intoxication including malaise, headache, joint and muscle pain, sweating, fatigue.
- Increased respiration, tachycardia, and dyspnea.
In addition to the signs above, pneumonia in children may appear as apathy, drowsiness, loss of appetite, sleep disorders. Cyanosis (blue skin) may occur on nasolabial triangle.
When taking into consideration size and location of a lesion, the disease can be categorized as follows:
- Focal pneumonia. Infiltrate is concentrated within a small lung lesion.
- Partial pneumonia. The inflammatory process develops within one lobe of the lung.
- Single pneumonia. Only one lung is involved (fully or focally).
- Double pneumonia. The disease has spread on right and left lungs.
If diagnosis pneumonia was established, patient’s hospitalization and in-patient therapy are recommended. It is particularly important to hospitalize a child with pneumonia. Treatment of pneumonia includes the following types of medicinal products:
- Antibacterial medicines. This is the first and the most important medicines type to combat a causative agent. The type and dosage must be defined by a physician.
- Mucolytics, which contribute to expectoration.
- Antipyretics should be used, if body temperature exceeds 38.5° C (unless a physician has made other prescriptions).
- Bronchodilators, if patient is suffering from bronchospasm accompanied by dyspnea.
In children and adults, nebulized pneumonia therapy is used as a supplement to basic therapy. The following medicines are recommended: