Community Acquired Pneumonia Essay

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Pneumonia is an acute infection of the lungs, it can be caused by a variety of organisms entering the body – including bacteria, viruses or fungi. The infection causes an inflammation of the alveoli (air sacs) of the lungs and may result in the alveoli filling with fluid or other purulent material (Mayo Clinic, 2016). An accumulation of fluid within alveoli and portions of the lungs, can reduce the ability of the lungs to allow for oxygen diffusion across the alveoli walls. If oxygen saturation is low, it can cause the body’s cells to not work effectively. Therefore, the risk of the infection spreading through the body is increased – it is due to this reason, that pneumonia can be life-threatening (American Lung Foundation, 2016). Pneumonia…show more content…
Pneumonia is classified according to the organism causing the infection and where the infection was acquired. Community-acquired pneumonia is contracted by individuals with minimal contact with health care facilities – such as a hospital, nursing home, or rehabilitation facility – and contract the infection by people in the wider community (MedlinePlus, 2016). Hospital-acquired pneumonia and ventilator assisted pneumonia, can be caused by a wide variety of bacteria and other organisms that can originate from the health care environment (Oxford Journals, 2016). Pneumonia that develops whilst an individual is in hospital, can be extremely severe and is more likely to be fatal. This is due to the fact, that individuals within a health care setting, often already have a serious illness, causing a weakened immune system. Also, the types of bacteria present in hospitals, are often more dangerous and resistant to treatment – then the bacteria found in the outside community (MedlinePlus, 2016). Aspiration pneumonia – or anaerobic pneumonia - results after the inhalation of a foreign matter into the lungs. If foods, liquids, saliva, or vomit make their way into the airways or lungs, instead of the oesophagus and stomach, it can cause aspiration pneumonia. It is more likely in individuals with a disturbed gag reflex – commonly due to having a brain injury or being under the influence of drugs or anaesthetics (MedlinePlus,
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