What causes pneumonia?
The most common microorganisms that cause pneumonia are:
Streptococcus pneumoniae (Pneumococcus microbe) (is the agent of 50% of socially derived pneumonia)
RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) causing bronchiolitis in children
Fungal pneumonia is very rare and is seen in people with very low immune systems.
What are the types of pneumonia?
Types of pneumonia can be classified clinically as follows:
Bacterial pneumonia: Causative agents are bacteria (eg S. Pneumonia)
· Viral pneumonia: It is usually seen after a severe flu. Viruses attach to the upper respiratory tract mucosa and over time the lungs descend. Generally in the elderly; those with chronic diseases such as diabetes, asthma and heart disease; It is defined as "pneumonia" after severe flu in people with malnutrition and low immune resistance.
· Oportunistic (opportunistic) pneumonia: It is seen in people with immune system deficiency such as cancer or suppressed immune system such as kidney and liver transplantation. The most dangerous is Aspergillus pneumonia.
Aspiration pneumonia: There are trachea and esophagus in the chest cavity. With each bite or fluid intake, the pharynx closes and food enters the esophagus. Aspiration is a clinical picture that occurs as a result of food escaping into the trachea at the pharynx level during the passage to the stomach. The respiratory tract stimulates the cough reflex to expel food items.
Is pneumonia contagious?
Pneumonia caused by microorganisms such as viruses and bacteria is contagious. It is often transmitted as a result of the spread of respiratory secretions to the environment. During sneezing and coughing, invisible microorganisms are scattered around. Again, through hands contaminated with these secretions, all common surfaces, items such as towels and cutlery are transmitted. Since microorganisms can survive on these surfaces for a while, other users are also infected.
Who is at risk for pneumonia?
Pneumonia; It is more common especially in children, elderly people over 65 years of age, those with a chronic disease (such as kidney, diabetes, heart or lung disease), smokers, or in the presence of a disease or medication that suppresses the immune system.
Pneumonia (pneumonia) is a serious disease that needs to be treated.
Despite the decrease in deaths from infectious diseases due to the widespread use of antibiotics and effective vaccination policies, unfortunately pneumonias still occur very often and cause losses.
While the mortality rate in outpatients is 1-5%, it reaches 12% in hospitalized patients and 40% in patients requiring intensive care support.
In our country, lower respiratory tract infections are in the 5th place among the causes of death with 4.2%, and studies have shown that the mortality rate from pneumonia varied between 1% and 60% in relation to the severity of the disease, and the rate was significantly higher in hospitalized pneumonia cases (10.3%). 60).
What are the symptoms of pneumonia?
Symptoms seen at the onset of pneumonia:
Fever rising with chills and chills,
Dark sputum that is yellow green or rust-colored,
If the lung membrane is affected, side pains and shortness of breath are among the first symptoms of typical pneumonia.
The most common symptoms in pneumonia are:
Shortness of breath
· loss of consciousness,
Dark blue discoloration of the skin and lips and inside the mouth in cases of severe pneumonia,
Severe shortness of breath,
Low blood pressure
· There may be confusion of consciousness.
Sometimes different diseases such as lung cancer can give symptoms such as pneumonia. Sometimes pneumonia is not due to microbes. The distinction of these situations should be made by a Chest diseases specialist.
How is pneumonia diagnosed?
After the patients presenting with symptoms of pneumonia are examined, the diagnosis is usually made by taking chest radiographs.
Advanced examinations such as blood tests, computed tomography and sputum tests may be required in cases of severe pneumonia and patients who need to be hospitalized.
The sputum sample should be examined to determine the microbe that causes pneumonia. However, most of the time, it may not be possible to detect the microbe for various reasons.
How is pneumonia treated?
Generally in the treatment of pneumonia; Antibiotics, plenty of fluid intake, rest, pain relievers and antipyretics are used.
Different treatments may be required in patients who need to be hospitalized. In cases of very severe pneumonia, it may be necessary to stay in intensive care and to apply respiratory support.
It is often not possible to identify the microbe that causes pneumonia. However, antibiotic treatment should be started as soon as possible after the diagnosis of pneumonia. Therefore, the patient's age, chronic diseases,Antibiotic treatment is started by taking into account the severity of urea.
Duration of treatment may vary depending on the initial severity of the disease, the responsible microbe, the presence or absence of 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 types of microbes, it may be necessary to extend the treatment period up to 10-14 days, sometimes up to 21 days.
Pneumonia is a sudden onset disease that usually resolves rapidly with treatment. One or two weeks after the start of treatment, the physician examines the patient and performs 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 been started and your fever has not decreased despite 72 hours after the start of your treatment, you should see the physician again if your cough and sputum production has not decreased.
What precautions can be taken to prevent pneumonia?
The frequency and mortality rate of pneumonia can be reduced by controlling the underlying chronic diseases, balanced nutrition, hygienic measures, control of smoking and alcohol habits, pneumococcal and annual influenza vaccines.
Active or passive smoking is an independent risk factor for pneumonia.
"Pneumococcal vaccine" to prevent pneumonia
The most common microbe that causes pneumonia are pneumococci. The pneumococcal vaccine (pneumonia vaccine) against pneumococci is recommended in the following situations.
People who are recommended to have a pneumococcal vaccine:
People aged 65 and over
· Those with chronic diseases (COPD patients, bronchiectasis, heart and vascular, kidney, liver and diabetes)
Those who have had pneumonectomy (surgical removal of a lung completely)
Chronic alcohol users
Those with a spleen disorder or removal of the spleen
Those who have immunodeficiency and those who receive treatment that suppresses the immune system
Those with cerebrospinal fluid leak
Pneumococcal vaccine is administered intramuscularly from the arm. It is very reliable, serious side effects are rarely encountered. It is often enough to do it once or twice in a lifetime.
"Flu vaccine" to prevent pneumonia
Flu (influenza) can also be dangerous in terms of preparing the ground for pneumonia. With the determination of the microbes that cause the most flu every year, a new vaccine is prepared every year and the flu vaccine must be repeated every year. Flu vaccine; It can be done in September, October and November.
People who need a flu shot:
People aged 65 and over
Chronic lung diseases (COPD, bronchiectasis, asthma, cardiovascular disease)
People with diabetes, kidney dysfunction, various blood diseases and immunocompromised
Physicians, nurses and assistant health personnel who are likely to encounter high-risk patients
Those who live with people at risk of flu (such as those who have close and continuous contact with a baby under 6 months)
Community service persons such as security guards, firemen
Flu vaccine is administered intramuscularly. It may be inconvenient to apply to those with severe egg allergy. There may be simple side effects such as pain and tenderness where it is performed.