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Introduction

  • Definition: Pneumonia is an infection in one or both lungs caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi.

  • Symptoms: Common symptoms include cough with phlegm or pus, fever, chills, and difficulty breathing.

  • Causes: The most common causes are bacteria (e.g., Streptococcus pneumoniae), viruses (e.g., influenza), and fungi.

  • Severity: Pneumonia can range from mild to life-threatening, especially in infants, elderly, and those with weakened immune systems.

  • Diagnosis: Diagnosis typically involves a medical history review, physical exam, and diagnostic tests such as chest X-rays.

  • Treatment: Treatment depends on the cause and may include antibiotics for bacterial pneumonia, antiviral medications for viral pneumonia, and antifungal treatments for fungal pneumonia.

  • Prevention: Vaccinations, good hygiene, and avoiding smoking are key preventive measures.

Causes [1]

  • Bacteria: The most common cause of bacterial pneumonia in the U.S. is Streptococcus pneumoniae.

  • Viruses: Viruses such as influenza, RSV, and SARS-CoV-2 can cause pneumonia.

  • Fungi: Fungal pneumonia is more common in people with chronic health problems or weakened immune systems.

  • Aspiration: Inhaling food, drink, vomit, or saliva into the lungs can cause aspiration pneumonia.

  • Community-acquired: This type occurs outside of hospitals and is the most common form.

  • Hospital-acquired: This type is contracted during a hospital stay and can be more severe due to antibiotic resistance.

  • Health care-acquired: Occurs in long-term care facilities or outpatient clinics.

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Symptoms [1]

  • Chest pain: Pain when breathing or coughing.

  • Confusion: Changes in mental awareness, especially in older adults.

  • Cough: May produce phlegm or pus.

  • Fatigue: General feeling of tiredness.

  • Fever: Often accompanied by sweating and shaking chills.

  • Shortness of breath: Difficulty breathing.

  • Nausea: May include vomiting or diarrhea.

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Diagnosis [4]

  • Medical history: Review of symptoms and possible exposures.

  • Physical exam: Listening to the lungs with a stethoscope.

  • Chest X-ray: To locate the infection and assess its extent.

  • Blood tests: To confirm infection and identify the germ causing it.

  • Sputum test: Analyzing mucus to find the infection source.

  • CT scan: For a detailed view of the lungs.

  • Bronchoscopy: To check airways for blockages or other issues.

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Treatment [3]

  • Antibiotics: Used for bacterial pneumonia.

  • Antiviral medications: For viral pneumonia.

  • Antifungal treatments: For fungal pneumonia.

  • Hospitalization: May be required for severe cases.

  • Oxygen therapy: For patients with low blood oxygen levels.

  • IV antibiotics: Administered in hospitals for severe infections.

  • Rest and fluids: Essential for recovery.

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Prevention [1]

  • Vaccination: Vaccines are available for some types of pneumonia and the flu.

  • Hygiene: Regular hand washing and using alcohol-based hand sanitizers.

  • Avoid smoking: Smoking damages the lungs and increases the risk of pneumonia.

  • Flu shots: Annual flu vaccinations can help prevent pneumonia.

  • Child vaccinations: Pneumonia vaccines for children under 2 and those at high risk.

  • Avoid sick people: Stay away from those who are ill to reduce the risk of infection.

  • Clean surfaces: Regularly disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched.

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Risk Factors [1]

  • Age: Highest risk in children under 2 and adults over 65.

  • Hospitalization: Increased risk if in an ICU or on a ventilator.

  • Chronic diseases: Conditions like asthma, COPD, or heart disease.

  • Weakened immune system: Due to HIV/AIDS, organ transplants, or chemotherapy.

  • Smoking: Damages the lungs and increases susceptibility.

  • Alcohol or drug misuse: Can impair the immune system.

  • Exposure to irritants: Dust, fumes, or chemicals can increase risk.

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Complications [1]

  • Bacteremia: Bacteria in the bloodstream can cause organ failure.

  • Difficulty breathing: Severe pneumonia may require a ventilator.

  • Pleural effusion: Fluid buildup around the lungs may need drainage.

  • Lung abscess: Pus in the lung cavity treated with antibiotics or surgery.

  • Septic shock: Severe infection leading to dangerously low blood pressure.

  • Respiratory failure: May require mechanical ventilation.

  • Worsening of chronic conditions: Such as heart failure or COPD.

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Related Videos

<br><br> <div class="-md-ext-youtube-widget"> { "title": "Pneumonia - causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, pathology", "link": "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAQp2Zuqevc", "channel": { "name": ""}, "published_date": "Nov 13, 2017", "length": "11:15" }</div>

<div class="-md-ext-youtube-widget"> { "title": "Pneumonia", "link": "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKduNgfePLU", "channel": { "name": ""}, "published_date": "Jan 28, 2013", "length": "4:45" }</div>