Definition of Pneumonia:
Acute or chronic inflammation of the lung
Causes/trigger of Pneumonia:
Infection by breathing in microorganisms (bacteria, viruses), caustic irritants (e.g. toxic gases) or inhalation of foreign substances (e.g. stomach contents) as well as radiation treatment. People who are at special risk include the elderly and frail and patients suffering from chronic illnesses (e.g. COPD and diabetes), in addition to children.
Symptoms/signs/effects of Pneumonia:
Chills, a high temperature, shortness of breath, cough and possibly chest pain when breathing. Patients with a severe case of pneumonia are characterised by very fast, laboured breathing due to shortness of breath. Often pain on coughing or taking deep breaths. The lips and fingernails may turn blue indicating a lack of oxygen.
Existing lung diseases such as asthma or COPD often worsen with pneumonia.
Diagnosis of Pneumonia:
Examination of the lungs with a stethoscope and X-rays to determine the severity of the illness. Examination of the blood and bronchial mucus is used to identify the pathogens involved and type of treatment required.
Treatment of Pneumonia:
- administration of antibiotics
- sufficient liquid
- respiratory therapy