Saturday, September 16, 2023

What Causes Pneumonia After Surgery

Head And Neck Surgery

How to prevent pneumonia after surgery

Epidemiology of postoperative pneumonia in head and neck surgery

There were several studies that associated head and neck procedures with the development of postoperative pneumonia . Li et al retrospectively studied 482 oral surgery patients who received a tracheotomy, and revealed a postoperative pneumonia incidence rate of 19.7%. Marda et al conducted a retrospective study of 178 patients who underwent transoral odontoidectomy and posterior fixation, showing a postoperative pneumonia incidence of 5.6%. Loeffelbein et al retrospectively assessed 648 patients who underwent major oral and maxillofacial surgery, and found an incidence rate for all pulmonary complications to be 18%. Similarly, in a retrospective observational study by Damian et al , 110 head and neck surgery cases were reviewed, yielding a postoperative pneumonia incidence of 9.1%.

How To Use The Incentive Spirometer

Sit up as straight as you can. If youre in a hospital bed, sit on the edge of your bed or raise the head of your bed so youre sitting up straight.

Hold the incentive spirometer in an upright position.

Put the mouthpiece in your mouth and close your lips tightly around it forming a seal.

Breathe in slowly and as deeply as you can to raise the piston in the air cylinder up to the top of the cylinder.

Hold your breath as long as you can , then let the piston fall to the bottom of the air cylinder.

Rest for a few seconds and repeat the steps above at least 10 times every hour while youre awake.

After each set of 10 deep breaths, do the coughing exercise described prior.

After surgery, probably one of the best things you can do for your lungs is to walk. Once youre walking sufficiently well, you typically dont need to continue with the breathing exercises .

Preventing Pneumonia After Surgery

There are several people who know that they are at a high risk for getting pneumonia, because they are about to undergo an operation soon. Therefore, in such instances people usually look for ways of preventing pneumonia after surgery, to help ease their recovery process. Such people are usually advised to practice deep coughing exercises, also known as the cough and breathe technique. Strange as this may sound, coughing can help expand the lungs, which in turn, prevents pneumonia or any other breathing difficulties that a person could go through after an operation. This is probably why when a person undergoes any type of surgery, it is common for them to go though breathing treatment, which makes breathing easier for the patient, by opening up the lungs.

Is pneumonia contagious after surgery?

Dealing with pneumonia after a surgery

Is it common for people going through surgery to get severe anesthetic pneumonia and other complications and infections ?

It is not uncommon for patients to develop all sorts of infections and conditions after being administered anesthesia. However, developing pneumonia during surgery is not a very common happening. In fact, only one in a thousand patients develop such a condition. Post operative pneumonia usually happens due to the amount of anesthesia administered to the patient.

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What Is The Usual Timeline Of Pneumonia After Surgery

Strictly speaking, pneumonia that is diagnosed within 48 to 72 hours of surgery is considered pneumonia related to the surgery. However, this is only the timeline chosen to help researchers follow strict guidelines so that research on pneumonia after surgery can be done with the same standard across different hospitals. In practice, pneumonia after surgery may not always happen in that exact time period. However, if the timing of your pneumonia is way off, your pneumonia may not be related to surgery. For example, I have admitted patients to the hospital with pneumonia 3 weeks after surgery. In such cases, the pneumonia is not necessarily related to the surgery. Anytime you are hospitalized, you are at an increased risk of picking up drug-resistant organisms. If you get pneumonia 3 weeks after surgery, you are at risk of having hospital-acquired bacterial pneumonia, but it is not necessarily related to the surgery.

How Common Is Aspiration Pneumonia

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Aspiration of food or drink is a relatively common thing. Youve probably heard someone say that food “went down the wrong pipe, meaning that food or drink went toward your lungs instead of your stomach. When this happens, you probably coughed until you felt better.

When the same sort of thing happens to someone who isnt able to cough the food or drink out of their lungs, aspiration pneumonia may result.

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How Do You Heal Your Throat After Intubation

Normal sore throat care including minimal speaking, drinking lots of fluids and over-the-counter remedies should do the trick within a few days. Numbing lozenges with benzocaine are particularly effective for this type of irritation, as the medication coats and protects the throat while numbing the area.

Who Is Most Likely To Get Aspiration Pneumonia

Aspiration pneumonia is more common among people who:

  • Have had general anesthesia or dental procedures.
  • Have trouble coughing or trouble swallowing. Trouble swallowing is known as dysphagia. These issues are more common among people with brain injury or nervous system disorders like Parkinsons disease or multiple sclerosis.
  • Have been drinking or taking drugs to excess.
  • Are older . Aspiration pneumonia is more common among people who live in nursing homes.
  • Have weak immune systems due to some illness, or underdeveloped immune systems due to being very young .

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Risk Factors For Atelectasis:

Age: Elderly adults have a slightly elevated risk of developing atelectasis.

Lung Conditions: Lung conditions that are present before surgery, such as pneumonia or lung cancer, can make it more likely that atelectasis will occur.

Surgery: Having surgery is a major risk factor for having atelectasis. There are two primary reasons for this: the being on a ventilator during surgery and the inability to cough to clear the lungs while under anesthesia. The ability to take a deep breath and cough helps prevent atelectasis.

Pain When Breathing: If an injury, lung condition or surgery make it painful to breathe is present, the patient is more likely to experience atelectasis. People who feel pain when they breathe are not likely to take deep breaths and they tend to stifle coughs. This can lead to poor inflation of the lungs, which can lead to atelectasis.

Ventilator: Being on a ventilator is a major risk factor for atelectasis. For these patients, coughing is not possible and the suctioning provided by nurses is not as effective as coughing for the prevention of atelectasis.

Smokers: Smoking increases the risk of atelectasis after surgery . Quitting smoking prior to surgery dramatically reduces the risk of atelectasis and many other complications.

Obesity: A healthy body weight reduces the risk of atelectasis.

How Is Aspiration Pneumonia Treated

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Aspiration pneumonia is treated primarily with antibiotics. The choice of antibiotics depends on several things, including any allergies to penicillin and where the pneumonia was acquired. Hospital-acquired infections must be treated with antibiotics that are effective against many types of bacteria.

Even though aspiration pneumonitis isnt an infection, your provider may start antibiotic therapy, depending on the clinical situation and underlying medical conditions.

Additional treatment might include oxygen therapy or, in life-threatening cases, mechanical ventilation. Mechanical ventilation means that a machine is breathing for you.

Preventing further aspiration is an important part of treatment, since every episode of aspiration can lead to inflammation or infection.

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How Long Does Atelectasis Last After Surgery

The duration of atelectasis depends on what is blocking the airway and can be affected by pain levels and shallow breathing post-op. The lung will usually begin reinflating once whatever was blocking the airway is cleared or lungs are able to expand again, but it takes time to regain full use of the airways.

What Does It Feel Like

  • You may feel very unwell and tired.
  • You may have a high temperature.
  • You may have a cough that brings up thick yellow or green sputum .
  • It will become harder to breathe, and your breathing may be quite fast.
  • Chest pain can also be a sign of a chest infection.
  • Some patients, especially older people, become confused. This is usually temporary and is likely to improve as the chest infection gets better.

Here are some ways that patients who developed a post-operative chest infection described it:

  • ‘I woke up all sweaty with a pain in my back, like a tight band across my back.’
  • ‘I thought I was going to cough my lungs up.’
  • ‘I was so flat out I didn’t even have the energy to eat or wash myself.’
  • ‘The nurse said my temperature and heart rate were up, and I could feel the heart racing in my chest. My breathing wasn’t right either.’

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What Are The Symptoms Of Pneumonia

The symptoms of pneumonia vary depending on the severity of your condition. Immediate medical attention is necessary if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Cough with bloody or discolored mucus
  • Chest pain
  • Antibiotics are commonly used to treat bacterial pneumonia
  • Fever reducers such as aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen
  • Cough medicine to calm your cough to allow you to rest

Trouble Using The Bathroom


Some types of anesthesia can make it hard for you to pee. If you feel like you need to go but can’t, your doctor may have to put a small tube called a catheter into your urethra to help you empty your bladder. Usually it’s a short-term problem, but it can lead to an infection or bladder damage if it’s not treated.

Constipation is also common after surgery. Anesthesia can cause it. So can certain pain medications, a change in your diet, or being in bed for a long time.

Your doctor may prescribe laxatives or stool softeners to help keep your bowels moving. Stay well-hydrated. Get up and move around when your doctor says it’s OK.

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What Causes An Infection After Surgery

Postoperative infection is caused by microbes, the most common of which are Staphylococcus, Streptococcus and Pseudomonas bacteria. These germs can be transmitted through contaminated surgical personnel, contaminated surgical instruments, air in the surgical environment, and microbes that are already on the surface or inside the body.

But there are other factors that increase the risk of infection, including:

  • Long-term surgery
  • Having medical conditions such as cancer, weakened immune system, diabetes
  • High age
  • Abdominal surgeries

Postoperative Infection And Its Types

Postoperative infection Any infection that occurs within 30 days after surgery and may be related to the operation itself or the postoperative period. These infections can include the infection itself in the wound itself, deeper infections in the cavities of the body, or infections far from the surgical site, such as pneumonia, mediastinitis, or even urinary tract infections. Surgical site infections occur in operations where the skin is incised, but deep infections occur in each operation.

The interval between surgery and the onset of symptoms of infection can be a great help in clarifying the source. For example, urinary tract infections and superficial wound infections appear 72 hours after surgery, but deep abscesses and pneumonia show up five to seven days after surgery.

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Pneumonia Biggest Problem Following Heart Surgery

You would think that the deep incisions from open heart surgery and the large wound it leaves, including cutting into chest bones etc. would be the biggest problem facing patients post heart surgery. Not so, says new research presented at the American Heart Associations Scientific Sessions 2011. In fact, its pneumonia that is the biggest problem following heart surgery.

The study also showed that most infections occur about two weeks after surgery, not one week as physicians previously thought.

Michael A. Acker, M.D., the studys lead researcher and professor and chief of cardiovascular surgery at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center in Philadelphia, Pa. confirmed the unexpected results :

Its not what we expected to find.

Researchers analyzed more than 5,100 patients in a heart surgery registry. Patients, average age 64 years, were treated at nine U.S. academic medical centers and one Canadian center. The median time to major infection was 14 days after heart surgeries. Forty-three percent of all major infections occurred after hospital discharge.

Acker continues :

Half of these patients had no evidence of infection before they were discharged from the hospital Then they had to return because of the new infection. One implication is that patients must be followed more closely after discharge.

Acker said :

How Do You Know If You Have A Post

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  • Doctors and physiotherapists listen to your chest with a stethoscope. They can hear extra crackles and wheezes.
  • If you have an X-ray of the chest, the infection can be seen on the X-ray.
  • Blood tests can also show that you have an infection.
  • A sample of your sputum can be sent to the lab to try to identify any bacteria which are causing the infection.
  • Sometimes the heart rate becomes faster and the blood pressure can fall. These are signs of a serious chest infection.

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How Does Surgery Increase The Risk

When you breathe in, your body warms and humidifies the air, and mucus traps dirt and germs. The cilia sweep dirt and germs toward your mouth, where they can be eliminated. General anesthesia and the endotracheal tube inserted in your throat during surgery can cause the normal secretions in your airways to thicken or dry up, preventing the cilia from doing their job. Follow the steps below to help prevent germy mucus from collecting in your airways and causing pneumonia.

  • Move! As soon as your nurse says its OK, get out of bed to sit in a chair and take short walks.
  • Take care of your mouth and teeth. Removing germs from your mouth keeps them from traveling down your airway to your lungs. Your doctor may give you a prescription mouthwash to use.
  • Always keep the head of your hospital bed at a 30-degree angle.
  • Do your deep breathing and coughing exercises.
  • When you are awake, use your incentive spirometer 10 times every hour. Your nurse will show you how.

Deep breathing and coughing may be painful after abdominal surgery. If so, talk to your nurse about ways to control the pain so you can do your exercises.

How Can I Prevent Aspiration Pneumonia Or Reduce My Risk Of Getting Aspiration Pneumonia

Things that you can do to reduce your risk of aspiration pneumonia include the following:

  • Avoid drinking alcohol to excess and using recreational drugs. These can affect your ability to swallow.
  • Stay upright when you are eating.
  • Chew slowly and completely.
  • If you have problems swallowing , talk to your healthcare provider. They might need to change or adjust your diet or medication. They can also order tests or refer you to a speech professional or swallowing specialist.
  • Dont smoke or use nicotine products.
  • Take good care of your teeth.

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Postoperative Infections Causes Treatment Prevention

Postoperative infections are fatal infections that are completely preventable. In this article, you will learn prevention and care methods.

Infection after surgery is a common problem in health care. The process of infection at the surgical site is complex and involves the interaction of several biological pathways at the molecular level. These infections cause pain, delayed recovery from surgery, long hospital stays, increased care costs, the need for long-term use of antibiotics, failure of surgery, and in acute cases, organ failure and even death.

Minimizing the number of infections depends on the patient’s condition, the use of appropriate disinfectant solutions at the incision site, the sterile surgical environment, the use of sterilized instruments during surgery, and the appropriate and disinfected coverage of operating room staff.

You can read more about how infections develop after surgery, what their symptoms are and how they are treated in this article.

The Team To Choose For In

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If youve returned home from surgery and youre concerned that you might have developed postoperative pneumonia, you can turn to DispatchHealth for treatment. Were a trusted mobile healthcare provider, and we proudly offer in-home care for pneumonia and a wide array of other conditions affecting seniors and the rest of the population. Receiving treatment in the comfort of your own home minimizes your risk of exposure to germs and eliminates the stress of having to travel to a providers office when youre already not feeling well. In addition to being convenient, our services are also affordable, with many patients paying approximately the same amount that they would at an urgent care clinic. And to ensure that your doctors remain updated on your condition, we can provide them with a detailed report of our services.

Requesting a visit from DispatchHealth is easyyou can do it by simply calling us, downloading our mobile app, or visiting our website. Our skilled team will arrive at your home in a few hours, perform an examination, provide you with a diagnosis, and administer any necessary treatments. In many cases, treatment for postoperative pneumonia involves taking antibiotics, which we can prescribe to you. Contact us today if you have any questions.

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Preventive Measures Before Surgery

Patient preparation

The patient to be operated on must be in the best medical condition before surgery. Controlling medical illnesses, avoiding behaviors that increase the risk of infection, quitting smoking, and ensuring good health are all ways to prevent infection.

Note: Maintaining normal blood glucose levels during surgery and in the postoperative period is very important. Elevated blood sugar levels in diabetic patients increase the risk of infection after surgery. For this reason, their blood sugar level should be at a normal level before surgery.

Reduce the number of bacteria

Bacteria live on our skin and during surgery, these bacteria can enter the body. The best way is to control the amount of bacteria on the body before entering the operating room.

Hair in the surgical area should be done just before surgery. It is better not to do this with a razor and just cut the hair.

Many surgeons recommend taking a shower with antiseptic soap before surgery. Using chlorhexidine wipes or soap is helpful in killing surface bacteria.

Use of antibiotics

The use of antibiotics may not be necessary for all surgeries, so be sure to ask your surgeon about the need to use it before surgery. For orthopedic surgery, antibiotics should be used if a metal implant is used.

If antibiotics are needed, they should be taken one hour before surgery. Antibiotics may need to be continued after surgery, but the preoperative dose is more effective in preventing infection.

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