Symptoms And Symptoms Of Pneumonia

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Introduction: Pneumonia is the leading infectious cause of death in children and the fourth leading cause of death in the elderly worldwide.1,2 Although pneumonia is a common disease, it rarely affects healthy individuals. This condition affects people of all ages, however it is most dangerous in immunocompromised individuals such as children, infants, and older adults.1 Other populations that are vulnerable are those who are bedridden, inactive, or immobile; those with altered consciousness; those who have difficulty swallowing; and those who have impaired cough reflexes.1 Risk factors for pneumonia include cigarette smoking, acute respiratory infections, chronic bronchitis, uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, uremia, dehydration,…show more content…
Pathophysiology: In a normal, healthy lung, air travels through a highway of airways, called bronchioles, to eventually reach tiny air sacs, called alveoli, the site of gas exchange with the blood capillaries.1 The right and left lungs are separated by fissures into lobes and are further divided into segments and then into lobules, which contain the alveoli.1 In pneumonia, a common inflammatory and infectious disease of the lung, fluid accumulates within the alveoli and/or the lobe, which reduces the surface area exposed to air making it difficult to breath.3 Typically, the body is able to filter out germs that invade the respiratory system by using defense mechanisms such as the immune system, the structure of the nose and throat, coughing, and cilia; however, some germs are able to reach the lungs to cause infection, especially in those who are immunocompromised.3 For example, someone who is in a medically-induced coma due to a stroke, is unable to cough, and as a result, the germs remain in the airway. Once the germs enter the lungs, the immune system responds by attacking.3 This causes the alveoli to inflame, turn red, and fill up with fluid and pus, which are the symptoms of pneumonia.3 There are three common bacteria that cause pneumonia – Streptococcus pneumonia, Legionella pneumophilia, and Mycoplasma pneumonia.3 Streptococcus pneumoniae or pneumococcus are the most common
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