Pneumonia is a problem that affects the lungs and can be deadly if not treated properly or detected early. Pneumonia involves the inflammation of the lungs and is caused when the alveolar are filled with fluid. The alveolar are sacs filled with air and their primary responsibility is absorbing oxygen. Pneumonia can be caused from an infection with viruses, fungi, bacteria and parasites. It can also be caused by physical injury to the lungs or chemical injury to the lungs such as inhaling poisons. Pneumonia causes excessive coughing, wheezing, a fever, chest pain and increased difficulty with breathing.
Pneumonia is diagnosed after a series of x-rays, MRIs and tests done on the mucus or phlegm from the throat. It can also be detected with a blood count test. If there is a high number of white blood cells then that means there is an infection present in the body. Pneumonia caused by bacteria is easily treatable with antibiotics. Pneumonia, as mentioned earlier, can be deadly. It is especially deadly in the elderly and anyone that is chronically or terminally ill. Other symptoms of pneumonia are coughing up blood, vomiting, nausea, joint and muscle pain, getting the chills and having blueness of the skin.
Pneumonia can be treated without hospitalization but severe cases sometimes call for hospitalization. Home care that involves rest, antibiotics and lots of fluids can help to rid the body of pneumonia. If patients do not heal within a specified amount of time by the doctor then they will have to be admitted into a hospital.
There are two classifications of pneumonia. They are community-acquired pneumonia and hospital-acquired pneumonia. People who acquire pneumonia from friends or family members fall into the first group and people who acquire pneumonia while spending time in the hospital fall into the second group. The first type of pneumonia is the most common form amongst patients today and is the sixth most common form of death in people in the United States.
Pneumonia can cause other complications within the human body. Some complications are respiratory failure, circulatory failure and abscesses. When pneumonia is in a chronic stage some patients need breathing assistance to stay alive. The breathing assistance comes in the form of a ventilator or even a breathing tube. Respiratory failure is caused by the lungs filling with fluid, becoming stiff, and cannot operate on their own. Sepsis can also set it while a patient is suffering from pneumonia. Sepsis can cause liver failure, heart failure, kidney failure and other problems that can lead to death.
Pneumonia can be cleared up within two to four weeks of the onset of treatment. Pneumonia can cause poisoning of the blood, which will kill over 20 percent of patients whereas one of every 20 sufferers of normal pneumonia will die in the United States from their illness. The quickness of recovery for patients depends on how sick they were upon diagnosis. If pneumonia was caught early it can be cured within a two week span but could take up to four weeks if not found in its early stages.