Lung Infection

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Lung Infection
Lung Infection

Video: Lung Infection

Video: Lung Infection
Video: 7 Signs You've Had a Lung Infection Without Knowing 2023, March
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lung infection

Pneumonia is an infection of the lung parenchyma. Different parts of the lungs can be affected. Pneumonia is triggered, for example, by viruses, bacteria or fungi. Often it is bacteria that cause pneumonia (e.g. pneumococci). Atypical pathogens such as mycoplasma also play a role. Pneumonia is more rarely caused by allergies or inhalation of chemical substances. The most common form of pneumonia is community acquired pneumonia (CAP)…

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Pneumonia can also occur during hospitalization (nosocomial infections, hospital acquired pneumonia, HAP).

Pneumonia can affect anyone. However, people with immunosuppression, immune deficiency or certain diseases or infections (e.g. alcohol dependence, diabetes mellitus, HIV infection, COPD, asthma etc.) are particularly at risk. Older people (e.g. if they are bedridden) or infants and small children are also more susceptible.

Certain vaccinations can be useful as a preventive measure, e.g. influenza and pneumococcal vaccinations. It is best to get the advice of your doctor. You can also find information under Vaccinations and on the BMSGPK website.

Pneumonia - what is it?

Pneumonia shows, among other things:

  • Headache and body aches,
  • Fever,
  • To cough,
  • difficulty breathing (dyspnoea),
  • Inflammation of the pleura (pleurisy).

There is coughing up of cloudy sputum and blood. Affected suffer from pain in the chest area, which can radiate (e.g. in the upper abdomen or neck etc.). A deterioration in the general condition becomes noticeable. Confusion can also occur (especially in the elderly).

Pneumonia can start quickly. However, this is not always the case, because there can be two to three weeks between an infection and the first symptoms - and flu symptoms and a dry cough appear in the meantime (so-called atypical pneumonia).

Note Pneumonia is a serious illness. She needs medical treatment. The lungs are responsible for the exchange of oxygen. If this can only take place to a limited extent or no longer, there is a risk of serious complications.

For more information on how the lungs work, see Airways & Lungs: Basic Info

diagnosis

In addition to the doctor-patient discussion, various examinations are carried out to establish the diagnosis. The doctor gets an idea of the symptoms. Noises when listening to the lungs and heart give him / her clues. Other diseases that are the basis of the complaints (e.g. heart failure, tuberculosis, etc.) or which may occur simultaneously (e.g. sinusitis) will be clarified. In addition, further examinations are arranged:

  • X-ray of the chest area (heart and lungs).
  • Laboratory tests. These also provide clues, e.g. CRP, white blood cell count. In addition to these, for example, serum potassium, sodium, creatinine, arterial / capillary blood gas values, blood sugar determination, etc. can be recorded. Depending on the suspected pathogen, urine antigen determinations (legionella, pneumococci), serological (chlamydia or mycoplasma - serum titers) and virological tests can be carried out. Evidence of the pathogen (e.g. sputum, blood, etc.) is carried out, especially in people with a poor general condition, during an inpatient examination.

therapy

The therapy is based on the individual situation of the patient and the causative agent of the pneumonia. Treatment is usually medicated with antibiotics. However, these are not given for pneumonia caused by viruses. If the pneumonia is caused by fungi, antifungal agents (antimycotics) are used. Pneumonia must be treated quickly as it can cause serious complications.

In the case of pneumonia, an inpatient stay (hospital stay) may be necessary, e.g. if the course is severe or the general condition is poor. Oxygen therapy may also be necessary. Treatment of comorbidities is taken into account. Smoking should be avoided. Physical rest, bed rest and sufficient drinking (water, tea) are part of the therapeutic measures.

An X-ray and the determination of blood values in the laboratory are carried out to control the progress. This can heal well, especially in young people who are healthy except for pneumonia. However, the recovery process can take a long time, for example in the case of nosocomial infection. One problem in the treatment of pneumonia is in part antibiotic resistance, which is caused, among other things, by improper or improper use of antibiotics. You can obtain information about treatment with antibiotics from your doctor and on the BMSGPK website.

Whom can I ask?

The family doctor is generally the first point of contact. She / he can make referrals and initiate further investigations. Specialists (e.g. for lung diseases) are also the point of contact for further clarification and treatment.

How are the costs going to be covered?

The costs of diagnosing and treating pneumonia are normally covered by the social security authorities.

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