Fever, cough, sputum production, chest pain are the most common symptoms. Symptoms such as shortness of breath, loss of consciousness, nausea-vomiting, frequent breathing, muscle-joint pains, and weakness can also be seen. In cases of severe pneumonia, a patient may experience a blue coloration of the skin and mucous membranes, severe shortness of breath, low blood pressure, and confusion. How Is Pneumonia Treated? What Are the Symptoms of Pneumonia? How Is Pneumonia Diagnosed? How Is Pneumonia Diagnosed? What Should Be Done to Prevent Pneumonia?
Pneumonia, medically known as pneumonia, is inflammation of the lung tissue. It develops due to various microbes such as viruses and fungi, especially bacteria. Viruses are the most common cause of pneumonia in children younger than 5 years old. Pneumonia of viral origin is usually mild. But in some cases it can become very serious. Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) can cause pneumonia, which can become severe. Pneumonia is one of the most common diseases that lead to referral to a doctor and can cause the most deaths. It is more common especially in children, the elderly over 65 years of age, those with a chronic disease (such as kidney, diabetes, heart or lung disease), smokers, and the presence of a disease that suppresses the immune system or the use of drugs. Pneumonia that develops in the community is responsible for a significant portion of hospital admissions, treatment costs, lost work-school days and deaths all over the world. Yeni Yüzyıl University Gaziosmanpaşa Hospital Department of Chest Diseases, Uz. Dr. Hijran Mamamdova Orucova 'Answered the questions about pneumonia'
What Are the Symptoms of Pneumonia?
Fever, cough, sputum production, chest pain are the most common symptoms. Symptoms such as shortness of breath, loss of consciousness, nausea-vomiting, frequent breathing, muscle-joint pains, and weakness can also be seen. In cases of severe pneumonia, a patient may have blue coloration of the skin and mucous membranes, severe shortness of breath, low blood pressure, and confusion.
How Is Pneumonia Diagnosed?
After examining the patients presenting with pneumonia symptoms, the diagnosis is usually made by blood tests and chest radiographs. In severe cases of pneumonia and patients requiring hospitalization, further investigations such as additional blood tests, computed tomography and sputum tests may be required. It may be necessary to take a swab from the nose or throat and examine a sputum sample to determine the microbe that causes pneumonia. However, it is often not possible to identify the microbe for various reasons.
How Is Pneumonia Diagnosed?
Pneumonia is a disease of sudden onset and usually resolves quickly with treatment. One or two weeks after the start of treatment, the physician examines the patient and makes the necessary tests. Sometimes an extension of the treatment period or additional examinations may be required.
If you have been diagnosed with pneumonia, your treatment has started, and your fever has not decreased even though 72 hours have passed after the start of your treatment, if your cough and sputum production has not decreased, you should see your doctor again.
What Should Be Done to Prevent Pneumonia?
The frequency and mortality rate of pneumonia can be reduced by controlling the underlying chronic diseases, a balanced diet, hygienic measures, control of smoking and alcohol habits, pneumococcal and annual influenza vaccinations. Active or passive smoking is an independent risk factor for pneumonia, and patients diagnosed with pneumonia should be given medical support to quit smoking. The germ that most often causes pneumonia is pneumococci. Pneumococcal vaccine (pneumonia vaccine) against pneumococci is recommended in the following cases. Pneumococcal vaccine (pneumonia vaccine) is recommended for people:
- 65 years and older
- Chronic disease (advanced COPD, bronchiectasis, cardiovascular, kidney, liver and diabetes)
- chronic alcoholism
- Those with spleen dysfunction or spleen removal
- Those with immunodeficiency and use of immunosuppressive therapy
- Those with cerebrospinal fluid leak
- People living in conditions with an increased risk of pneumococcal disease or complications
The vaccine is administered intramuscularly from the arm. It is quite reliable, serious side effects are not uncommon. Doing it once or twice in a lifetime is often enough. Influenza (influenza) can also be dangerous in terms of preparing the ground for pneumonia. Each year, a new vaccine is prepared by identifying the germs that cause the most flu, and the flu vaccine must be repeated every year. The flu vaccine can be given in September, October, and November. The people who should be vaccinated are listed below.
People who need the flu vaccine:
- 65 years and older
- Chronic lung diseases (COPD, bronchiectasis, bronchial asthma, cardiovascular disease)
- Individuals with diabetes, renal dysfunction, various hemoglobinopathies and immunocompromised
- Physicians, nurses and allied health personnel who are likely to encounter high-risk patients
- Those who live with people at risk for the flu (close and continuous contact with a baby under six months old)
- Community service providers such as security guards, firefighters
- Pregnancy during flu season
The vaccine is administered intramuscularly. It may be inconvenient for those with severe egg allergy. There may be simple side effects such as pain and tenderness at the site of application.
How Is Pneumonia Treated?
Treatments such as antibiotics, plenty of fluid intake, rest, pain relievers and fever reducers are usually used. Different treatments may be required for patients who need to be hospitalized. In very severe pneumonia cases, hospitalization in the intensive care unit and respiratory support may be required. It is often not possible to identify the microbe that causes pneumonia. However, antibiotic therapy should be started as soon as possible after the diagnosis of pneumonia. For this reason, antibiotic treatment is started, taking into account the patient's age, chronic diseases, and severity of pneumonia. Detection of traces of any microbe in the sputum and data on which antibiotic can be treated for this microbe are finalized within 72 hours. According to the results, antibiotic treatment can be rearranged. Depending on the patient's age, diseases, and severity of pneumonia, it is decided whether to be treated as an outpatient or inpatient.
The duration of treatment may vary according to the initial severity of the disease, the microbe responsible, whether there is a concomitant disease and the individual response of the patient. It is generally recommended to continue antibiotics for 5-7 days after the fever subsides. However, in cases of pneumonia due to some microbe types, it may be necessary to extend the treatment period to 10-14 days, sometimes up to 21 days.