Pneumonia - Assignment Example

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Pneumonia Introduction Pneumonia is a medical state that affects the air sacs in the lungs identified as alveoli and it can be defined further as an inflammatory lung condition. This condition is tends to be caused by either viral or bacterial infections, as well as certain microorganisms or some drugs which individuals are ingesting…
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Download file to see previous pages Various tools are used in diagnosing this condition and these include the use of x-rays, or taking a sample of sputum for testing. There are various types of vaccines available for the prevention of pneumonia and these are complemented by the treatment measures available for those who suffer from the infection. The treatment of this condition depends on the agent that caused it, whether it is viral or bacterial. If the infection is caused by bacteria, then the condition is treated using antibiotics, but if the condition is caused by a virus; on the other hand, the most common treatment used are neuraminidase inhibitors. When an infection is deemed severe, the most likely cause of action that doctors tend to take is to have the patient admitted to hospital because if left untreated, this condition often proves to be fatal. It is estimated that on an annual basis, pneumonia affects over four hundred million people and of these, about four million meet their deaths from the condition (Kornum et al 2008, p.1542). While this condition has been made treatable with the advancement of the development of antibiotic therapy as well as vaccines, pneumonia still remains one of the most dangerous as well as the a leading cause of death, especially in developing countries. The people, in these countries, who are at the most risk of infection, tend to be the young, the elderly, and those who are extremely ill. Symptoms Those who are infected by pneumonia tend to display certain symptoms, which provide the evidence that they have indeed been infected. Among the symptoms that they display include coughing, a fever, a stabbing pain in the chest when taking deep breaths, and most of all, and an increase in the rate of respiration because of the shortness of breath that they experience. One of the most prominent symptoms that are displayed by older people is that of being confused. Among children, on the other hand, there is often a fever, coughing, as well as difficulty in breathing. When making a diagnosis of the condition, too much insistence should not be put on the detection of a fever because it can be found in quite a number of diseases such as malaria among other severe diseases (Chandra et al 2010, p.862). In addition, coughs should also not be considered a common symptom among children who are less than a year old and instead, more severe signs should be looked out for. Among the severe symptoms of this condition is the appearance of a blue tinge on the skin, a decrease in the infected person’s thirst, convulsions, and the most severe of all, a decrease in consciousness level. Whatever the source of infection, whether bacterial or viral, the victims of pneumonia often display the same symptoms and this is the reason why specific tests have to be carried out to ensure that the correct treatment is prescribed to a patient (Metlay and Fine 2003, p.109). While pneumonia is often caused by either bacterial or viral infections, it is common to find that even fungi and other parasites can cause this condition. It has, however been estimated that of the over one hundred agents that can potentially cause pneumonia, only a few of these agents are actually responsible for the majority of the cases involved (Kollef et al, 2005, p.3855). In a little more than 45% of the cases studied in children, it has been found that the causing agents have been a mixture of bacterial and viral infections. Among adults, on ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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