Pneumonia is one of the most common lung diseases globally and is among the primary causes of hospitalization and mortality among the population worldwide. Although people of various ages have relatively equal chances of becoming sick, pneumonia has a much dire impact on children younger than five years old and elderly individuals over 65 years old. For instance, pneumonia caused 264.7 deaths among 70+ years old and 101.37 deaths among ‘under-5’ year old children per 100,000 people in the respective age group in 2019 (Dadonaite & Roser, 2019). In comparison, for other age groups, the mortality rate did not exceed 28 deaths for 100,000 people during the same year (Dadonaite & Roser, 2019). Moreover, those with one or more respiratory as well as non-respiratory chronic diseases are also at a higher risk of pneumonia complications (Lanks et al., 2019). Therefore, medical workers are constantly seeking methods to prevent and treat this disease effectively. In this regard, the current paper intends to discuss the existing pneumonia prevention and care approaches.
Pneumonia is an inflammation of alveoli (air sacs) in one or both lungs due to infection. It is caused by various bacteria, fungi, or viruses such as Haemophilus influenzae, Legionella, Pneumocystis, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Coccidioides immitis, and Brucella anthracis, to name a few most common microorganisms (Quinton et al., 2018). The signs that help to recognize the disease include coughing, chest pain, feeling weak, high or low body temperature, chills, breathing difficulty, and nausea (Mayo Clinic, n.d.). As such, those in the high-risk group should consider visiting the hospital as soon as they experience the first symptoms of pneumonia. Failure to treat the disease on time may lead to the spread of the bacteria to the bloodstream, which may result in infection of other organs (Mayo Clinic, n.d.). This, in turn, may potentially result in organ dysfunction and subsequent death.
There are several methods that can prevent the appearance of pneumonia both in adults and children. Firstly, it is suggested that people are vaccinated for influenza and S pneumonia (Lanks et al., 2019). Additionally, parents should ensure that their children are immunized against pertussis, Hib, and pneumococcus (World Health Organization, 2021). In this respect, Quinton et al. (2018) maintain that vaccination can reduce the cases of pneumonia mildly but to a significant degree. Moreover, good hygiene, which includes frequent hand washing and the usage of sanitizers, reduces the chance of getting an infection (Mayo Clinic, n.d.). Furthermore, individuals should avoid smoking as it negatively affects the lungs’ defense mechanism (Mayo Clinic, n.d.). Finally, doctors recommend leading a healthy lifestyle in general, including regular physical activities, good sleeping habits, and an adequate diet.
There are four main methods of how medical professionals can determine whether their patients have pneumonia. They encompass blood tests, X-rays, pulse oximetry, and sputum test (Mayo Clinic, n.d). As for the treatment, the most effective method to cure pneumonia is the usage of antibiotics (Lanks et al., 2019). However, their usage may be limited when countering gram-negative bacteria (Lanks et al., 2019). Moreover, the patients can be prescribed the medicine against cough and pills to reduce fever (Mayo Clinic, n.d.). Additionally, in severe cases when people experience breathing difficulties, mechanical ventilation is provided (Quinton et al., 2018). As a result, all these methods can help the patient recover in the shortest period of time.
Overall, the current paper elaborates on the nature of pneumonia and the impact of this disease on the population and discusses the existing prevention and treatment methods. It was found that pneumonia is an inflammation of the alveoli as a result of bacteria-, virus-, or fungi-based infection. As such, children until the age of five and elderly over 65 years old are the two groups at a high risk of pneumonia complications which can ultimately lead to death. The disease can be prevented by using vaccines, having good hygiene, and leading a healthy lifestyle, whereas the best curing method is found to be the usage of antibiotics.
Dadonaite, B., & Roser, M. (2019). Pneumonia. Our World in Data. Web.
Lanks, C. W., Musani, A. I., & Hsia, D. W. (2019). Community-acquired pneumonia and hospital-acquired pneumonia. Medical Clinics, 103(3), 487-501. Web.
Mayo Clinic. (n.d.). Pneumonia. Web.
Quinton, L. J., Walkey, A. J., & Mizgerd, J. P. (2018). Integrative physiology of pneumonia. Physiological Reviews, 98(3), 1417-1464. Web.
World Health Organization. (2021). Pneumonia. Web.