Is Pneumonia Treated Any Differently In Children
Essentially no. Just like adults, bacterial causes of pneumonia in children may be treated with antibiotics. Antibiotics are not used to treat pneumonia caused by viruses. Flu-related pneumonia may be treated with antiviral medicine if caught early in the course of illness. Most cases of pneumonia are treated with comfort care measures that ease symptoms. These may include:
- Drinking more fluids.
- Getting more rest.
- Taking over-the-counter medicines for cough and acetaminophen for fever. Be sure to check with your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns about giving medicines to your child.
- Using a cool mist humidifier in your childs room.
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:
- 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 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.
Check If You Have A Chest Infection
Chest infections often follow colds or flu.
The main symptoms are:
- a chesty cough you may cough up green or yellow mucus
- wheezing and shortness of breath
- chest pain or discomfort
- aching muscles
These symptoms can be unpleasant, but they usually get better on their own in about 7 to 10 days.
The cough and mucus can last up to 3 weeks.
Also Check: Does Walgreens Give Pneumonia Shots
Oxygen Level With Pneumonia
Checking your oxygen level is very important with pneumonia. Low oxygen levels with pneumonia are one of the most important indicators of a bad outcome with any pneumonia. In the last 15 years, I have treated hospitalized patients with pneumonia that had different degrees of problems with their oxygen levels. I am writing this article based on my personal experience as a doctor and a thorough review of relevant medical journals.
In this article, I will explain:
What Are The Complications Of Pneumonia
Anyone can experience complications from pneumonia. However, people in high-risk groups are more likely to develop complications, including:
- Breathing difficulties: Pneumonia can make breathing difficult. Pneumonia plus an existing lung disorder can make breathing even more difficult. Breathing difficulties may require a hospital stay to receive oxygen therapy or breathing and healing assistance with the use of a breathing machine .
- Fluid buildup in the lungs : Pneumonia can cause a buildup in the fluid between the membranes that line the lungs and the inside of the chest cavity. It is a serious condition that makes breathing difficult. Pleural effusion can be treated by draining excess fluid with a catheter, chest tube or by surgery.
- Bacteria in the bloodstream : The bacteria that cause pneumonia can leave your lungs and enter your bloodstream, spreading the infection to other organs. This condition is treated with antibiotics.
- Lung abscess. A lung abscess is a pus-filled cavity in the lung that is caused by a bacterial infection. It can be treated by draining the pus with a long needle or removing it by surgery.
You May Like: What Are The Symptoms Of Pneumonia In The Elderly
Pneumonia With Low Oxygen Levels Despite Being On A Ventilator
These patients are in real trouble. They may not make it out alive from the pneumonia. Sometimes, changing the settings of the ventilator may help. These patients need fast rates on the ventilator with a slightly higher pressure and less air. In a small fraction of patients, an artificial heart and lung machine may help them get through the hump while their lungs improve. The overall outcome is very poor when oxygen levels with pneumonia remain low despite being on a ventilator.
In conclusion, oxygen levels with pneumonia is a very important indicator of the severity of the illness. Oxygen levels can be measured invasively or non-invasively. The treatment of pneumonia and its outcome differ based on different oxygen levels.
Aspiration Pneumonia And Anaerobic Bacteria
The mouth contains a mixture of bacteria that is normally harmless. However, if this mixture reaches the lungs, it can cause a serious condition called aspiration pneumonia. This may happen after a head injury or general anesthesia, or when a person takes drugs or alcohol. In such cases, the gag reflex does not work as well as it should, so bacteria can enter the airways. Unlike other organisms that are inhaled, some of the bacteria that cause aspiration pneumonia do not need oxygen to live. These bacteria are called anaerobic bacteria.
Also Check: Pneumonia Chest Pain Right Side
Treatment For Low Blood Oxygen
The treatment you may receive for low blood oxygen depends in part on what is causing it and whether it is acute or chronic. The first treatment usually administered for hypoxemia is administration of oxygen to increase the levels and prevent hypoxia from setting in. If the hypoxemia is acute, you may receive oxygen via a mask that fits over your mouth and nose, whereas if you require oxygen on a long-term basis, your doctor may prescribe oxygen tanks for you to carry around with you, and youll likely receive oxygen via a nasal cannula, a tube that inserts directly into your nose. Depending on what is causing the hypoxemia, it may be possible to treat with medications as well. Another major step you can take to prevent hypoxemia is to quit smoking and avoid breathing in second-hand smoke.
Low blood oxygen levels can have multiple causes as well as treatments. See your doctor to discuss options and work out the best individual plan to address your condition.
Four Simple Tests Could Help Gps Spot Pneumonia And Reduce Unnecessary Antibiotics
- European Lung Foundation
- Testing for fever, high pulse rate, crackly breath sounds, and low oxygen levels could be key to helping GPs distinguish pneumonia from less serious infections, according to a large study.
Testing for fever, high pulse rate, crackly breath sounds, and low oxygen levels could be key to helping GPs distinguish pneumonia from less serious infections, according to a large study published in the European Respiratory Journal.
Pneumonia is a severe lung infection that can be life-threatening and often requires treatment with antibiotics. However, it is notoriously difficult to discriminate from more common viral infections, against which antibiotics are ineffective.
The researchers say that using these four measures could help patients get the treatment they need as well as reducing unnecessary antibiotic use, which is fuelling a rise in drug-resistant infections.
The study was led by Michael Moore, Professor of Primary Care Research at the University of Southampton, and funded by the National Institute for Health Research.
He explained: “GPs see a huge number of patients with symptoms of a lower respiratory tract infection such as coughing, phlegm, wheezing and being short of breath. The vast majority of these will have a viral infection, which can range from being mild through to feeling extremely unwell. But antibiotics do not work well for these patients and have side effects, so they should be avoided.
Recommended Reading: How Much Is A Pneumonia Shot At Cvs
What Are The Treatments For Respiratory Failure
Treatment for respiratory failure depends on:
- Whether it is acute or chronic
- How severe it is
- What is causing it
Acute respiratory failure can be a medical emergency. You may need treatment in intensive care unit at a hospital. Chronic respiratory failure can often be treated at home. But if your chronic respiratory failure is severe, you might need treatment in a long-term care center.
One of the main goals of treatment is to get oxygen to your lungs and other organs and remove carbon dioxide from your body. Another goal is to treat the cause of the condition. Treatments may include:
- Oxygen therapy, through a nasal cannula or through a mask that fits over your nose and mouth
- Tracheostomy, a surgically-made hole that goes through the front of your neck and into your windpipe. A breathing tube, also called a tracheostomy, or trach tube, is placed in the hole to help you breathe.
- Ventilator, a breathing machine that blows air into your lungs. It also carries carbon dioxide out of your lungs.
- Other breathing treatments, such as noninvasive positive pressure ventilation , which uses mild air pressure to keep your airways open while you sleep. Another treatment is a special bed that rocks back and forth, to help you breathe in and out.
- Fluids, often through an intravenous , to improve blood flow throughout your body. They also provide nutrition.
- Medicines for discomfort
- Treatments for the cause of the respiratory failure. These treatments may include medicines and procedures.
How Pneumonia Affects Your Oxygen Levels
When you have pneumonia, germs invade your lungs. Your immune system tries to get rid of these germs by attacking them using special proteins and white blood cells. The interaction between the germs, proteins, and white blood cells produce a pus-like fluid deep inside the lungs. These fluids fill up a portion of the air sacs inside your lungs.
These air sacs are sites of air exchanges inside your lungs. Oxygen in drawn into the blood from the air inside the air sacs, and carbon dioxide is thrown out. Air sacs have very thin walls to allow the oxygen from the air to enter the blood vessels. Red blood cells help carry the oxygen from the lungs once it is inside the small blood vessels. However, the pus-like fluid makes it difficult for oxygen to enter the blood vessels, and thus your oxygen levels go down.
Initially, the areas of the lungs that arent affected try to compensate by increasing the blood flow and absorbing more oxygen. With mild pneumonia that can be treated at home, there are enough normal air sacs to maintain a regular oxygen level.
As the pneumonia gets more severe, it involves a larger area, and more pus-like fluids are produced. The larger the area of the lungs that are involved in this process, the greater the problem with oxygen absorption. So when pneumonia affects a large part of your lungs, you have oxygen absorption problems.
Don’t Miss: Pneumonia Shot For 65 And Older
How Can You Tell If You Have Happy Hypoxia
People with happy hypoxia can have some symptoms. Whether they realize it or not, Gonzalez-Brito says, they will likely be breathing more deeply and quickly.
The respiratory ratehow many times you breathe in a minutewould be probably the most objective thing that you can keep track of,” Gonzalez-Brito says. “And if you’re wondering if you’re breathing too fast, this is something that you can easily ask your own physician for guidance I know there’s people out there that might have different medical conditions.”
The information in this article is current as of the date listed, which means newer information may be available when you read this. For the most recent updates on COVID-19, visit our coronavirus news page.
What Are The Signs Someone Is Approaching End Of Life
As people reach the final stages of long-term lung disease there are often typical physical changes. But its not always easy to predict when life will come to an end.
Each persons experience at the end of life is different. Experiencing these symptoms doesnt necessarily mean someone is close to death.
Most long-term lung conditions get gradually worse over several years. The most common symptom is feeling increasingly out of breath. Some peoples breathing might get worse much more quickly, over weeks or months. This is particularly true of interstitial lung diseases, such as IPF.
For those in the final stages of a lung condition, breathing becomes noticeably worse. After each flare-up, or exacerbation, their lung function doesnt quite get back to the level it was before and breathing becomes more difficult.
Your lungs become less efficient as long-term lung disease develops. Any exertion, even just changing your position, talking, or eating, might make you feel out of breath. It can become uncomfortable to breathe if you lie flat, so you could try sleeping in a fairly upright position. Reduced lung function may result in low levels of oxygen in the blood. This can cause fluid retention in your legs and tummy, which can be uncomfortable. Flare-ups usually reduce oxygen in your blood further and can make these symptoms worse.
Other symptoms might include a troublesome cough, poor appetite, chest pain and disturbed sleep patterns.
The most common physical symptoms are:
You May Like: Does Pneumonia Vaccine Make You Sick
How Is Pneumonia Diagnosed In Children
Your doctor will ask you questions and examine your child. They will:
- take their temperature
- check for fast breathing or low oxygen saturation
- listen to their chest
Pneumonia can be caused by bacteria or a virus, but it is almost impossible to separate the symptoms of bacterial pneumonia and viral pneumonia in very young children.
How Can I Help Myself Feel Better
If your doctor has prescribed medicine, follow the directions carefully.
You may feel better in a room with a humidifier, which increases the moisture in the air and soothes irritated lungs. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids, especially if you have a fever. If you have a fever and feel uncomfortable, ask the doctor whether you can take over-the-counter medicine such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to bring it down. But don’t take any medicine without checking first with your doctor a cough suppressant, for example, may not allow your lungs to clear themselves of mucus.
And finally, be sure to rest. This is a good time to sleep, watch TV, read, and lay low. If you treat your body right, it will repair itself and you’ll be back to normal in no time.
Read Also: Antibiotics Used To Treat Pneumonia
How Common Is Pneumonia
Approximately 1 million adults in the United States are hospitalized each year for pneumonia and 50,000 die from the disease. It is the second most common reason for being admitted to the hospital — childbirth is number one. Pneumonia is the most common reason children are admitted to the hospital in the United States. Seniors who are hospitalized for pneumonia face a higher risk of death compared to any of the top 10 other reasons for hospitalization.
Pneumonia With Oxygen Levels Above 95% As Measured By A Pulse Ox
These patients can be safely treated at home with antibiotics as long as they watch their symptoms. If they start to get more shortness of breath, they may have to call their doctor to recheck their oxygen levels. Oxygen levels in these pneumonia patients can be done with a pulse ox instead of the invasive blood gas test.
Also Check: How Do I Know If I Have Pneumonia
When Would I Need To Be Hospitalized For Pneumonia
If your case of pneumonia is more severe, you may need tostay in the hospital for treatment. Hospital treatments may include:
- Fluids, antibiotics and other medicines given through an IV
- Breathing treatments and exercises to help loosen mucus
People most likely to be hospitalized are those who are most frail and/or at increased risk, including:
- Babies and young children
- People with weakened immune systems
- People with health conditions that affect the heart and lungs
It may take six to eight weeks to return to a normal level of functioning and well-being if youve been hospitalized with pneumonia.
Other Causes Of Low Oxygen Levels
- not enough oxygen in the air
- inability of the lungs to inhale and send oxygen to all cells and tissues
- inability of the bloodstream to circulate to the lungs, collect oxygen, and transport it around the body
Several medical conditions and situations can contribute to the above factors, including:
- obstruction of an artery in the lung, for instance, due to a blood clot
- pulmonary fibrosis or scarring and damage to the lungs
- presence of air or gas in the chest that makes the lungs collapse
- excess fluid in the lungs
- sleep apnea where breathing is interrupted during sleep
- certain medications, including some narcotics and painkillers.
You May Like: Pneumonia In Lung Cancer Patients
What Is Respiratory Failure
Respiratory failure is a condition in which your blood doesn’t have enough oxygen or has too much carbon dioxide. Sometimes you can have both problems.
When you breathe, your lungs take in oxygen. The oxygen passes into your blood, which carries it to your organs. Your organs, such as your heart and brain, need this oxygen-rich blood to work well.
Another part of breathing is removing the carbon dioxide from the blood and breathing it out. Having too much carbon dioxide in your blood can harm your organs.
Patients With A Mild To Moderate Clinicoradiological Diagnosis Of Covid
This group includes those discharged directly from the emergency department or medical assessment unit and not admitted to hospital despite a diagnosis of COVID-19 pneumonia. These patients should have a routine follow-up CXR at 12 weeks from hospital discharge ideally in a virtual clinic. The CXR should be compared with previous CXRs performed during the patients hospitalisation. If the 12-week follow-up CXR demonstrates complete resolution , the patient should be discharged from further follow-up. Patients in this group who experience persistent or progressive respiratory symptoms such as breathlessness, chest pain or cough should seek medical attention promptly in advance of the scheduled CXR review, as early acute post-COVID-19 complications such as PE, interstitial lung disease or secondary infection will require more urgent medical attention. It is expected that respiratory follow-up for a significant number of post-COVID-19 pneumonia will end at this point.
For patients with significant persisting CXR abnormalities at 12 weeks
Arrange to see the patient at a face-to-face outpatient clinic setting.
Organise full pulmonary function tests.
If more than 6 weeks have passed since the first CXR, consider repeating the CXR on arrival to the outpatient setting as in some patients the abnormalities may have resolved between these two time points.
Don’t Miss: How Often Do You Take A Pneumonia Shot