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Pneumonia in adults: Symptoms and treatments

Pneumonia in adults and children (pneumonia) ranks first among human inflammatory diseases. Is an infectious pathology.

To the section of pneumonia include a group of bacterial and viral diseases of different symptoms, but similar in localization of inflammatory processes, developing in the tissue structure of the lungs. Among similar pathologies, occupies a leading place in mortality.


Forms and features of pneumonia in adults

The development of pneumonia in adults

The characteristic of inflammatory reactions in the pulmonary system is due to the various forms of their manifestations and the severity of clinical signs.

Acute inflammation is possible independent manifestation caused by infection, or due to complications of background pathologies. The inflammatory reaction originates in the bronchial system, spreading gradually into the structure of the lung tissue, affecting the vessels.

Seasonal morbidity is characteristic - in the period of progression of cold infections.

The form of chronic pneumonia is caused by a gradually developing inflammatory process. Constant, gradual development of inflammatory reactions beyond the focal frame of the lesion, spreading to a large tissue area of ​​the bronchus and lung tissue.

The cause of the development of a chronic course of the disease may be the incompletely resolved foci of inflammation remaining after acute inflammatory processes in the organ.

A chronic process usually begins during childhood. This form of the disease is rare.

The form of croupous manifestation of pneumonia in adults is characterized by acute inflammation that affects the lung completely, or its extensive part. Destructive processes in its tissues occur cyclically, expressed in stages:

  • Increased blood flow to the capillaries, followed by its slowdown for 12 hours or two days.
  • Red hepatisation (compaction of the lung parenchyma) caused by the coagulation of red blood cells (diapedes) and the filling of the lumen of the alveoli with them and fibrin, depriving them of airiness. The duration of the process is up to three days.
  • Gray hepatisation, manifested by the granularity and gray-green color of the lung, due to congestion in the alveoli of the exudate, consisting of their epithelium and leukocyte cells. The duration of the process - up to a week.
  • The last stage is characterized by resorption of fibrin and leukocytes in the alveolar lumens and their partial excretion with sputum during expectoration. Over time, airiness returns to the alveoli, but the swelling of the alveolar septa and lung tissue density remain for a long time.

Focal pneumonia combines several forms of the disease. The link of all forms is the localization of inflammation in a separate pulmonary area and not spreading it to other segments of the organ. Sometimes there is a merging foci of inflammation (confluent pneumonia).

Causes and mechanism of nucleation

The most diverse bacterial and viral pathogens are the most common cause of inflammatory reactions in the pulmonary structure.

  1. Representatives of a bacterial infection are pneumococci, streptococci, staphylococci, Richard Preifer's wand (hemophilia).
  2. Viruses of the family of paramyxoviruses, picornaviruses, adenoviruses and influenza.
  3. Non-taxonomic (yeast) fungal parasites, moldy mushrooms Aspergelius, ascomycete fungi (pneumocysts).
  4. Chlamydia viruses, mycoplasma and legionella bacteria, intracellular Toxoplasma parasites.

Among the adult population, there is a certain category that constitutes the risk group for developing the disease. This fact is due to:

  • the presence of chronic pulmonary pathologies;
  • disorders in the cardiovascular system;
  • chronic immunodeficiency, triggered by frequent bacterial and viral infections;
  • neurosis and depression;
  • endocrine pathologies;
  • malignant neoplasms;
  • consequence of aspiration symptoms, surgical interventions (lungs, chest, peritoneum);
  • long stay in one position (bed patients);
  • drug addiction, alcoholism and nicotine addiction;
  • age factor (after 60 years).

Inflammatory reactions in the parenchyma of the organ can occur both independently and as a result of the complication of other diseases. The penetration of infectious agents into the lungs occurs in various ways:

1) Microaspiration - the main route of infection. Even the most healthy people in the oropharynx are many microorganisms that are not harmful to humans. Sometimes they include pathogens.

In many people, during sleep, a small dose of oropharyngeal secretions gets into the respiratory tract, bringing an infection with it. If the protective functions of the body work at the proper level, they easily deduce a provocative secret.

Otherwise, the sterility of the lung tissue is disturbed and the inflammatory process develops - pneumonia in adults or children .

2) Inhalation of high concentrations of microorganisms with air. This way of infection is characteristic of the development of hospital pneumonia, with a long stay in the hospital department where patients with pneumonia are treated.

3) Hematogenous way - the spread of infection from another source of infection with blood flow. A common cause of infection in drug addicts and in patients suffering from infectious inflammatory processes in the inner cardiac membrane (endocarditis).

4) The penetration of infection from adjacent organs, with purulent-inflammatory processes in the liver or a similar pathology of the pericardium, or the result of a penetrating injury.

As a result of the penetration of the pathogen into the pulmonary system, alveolar membrane damage occurs and their functions are impaired, leading to insufficient gas exchange between air and blood, disruption of the formation of a surfactant (surfactant), and a decrease in immune functions.

At the same time, in the inflammatory area there is a violation of blood circulation and malfunctions in the functions of bronchial tissues, ensuring the secretion and excretion of mucus from the lungs. Such changes contribute to the manifestation of various symptoms of pneumonia in an adult.

Symptoms of pneumonia in adults

Cough with sputum, the first symptom of pneumonia

The manifestation of the symptoms of pneumonia in adults depends on a variety of causes - conditions for the development of the disease, the type of pathogen, the course and extent of the inflammatory process. Characterized by typical (pulmonary) and atypical (extrapulmonary signs. Common symptoms occur:

  1. Cough with abundant, moist sputum. In older patients, it may be dry.
  2. Moderate dyspnea during exercise.
  3. Discomfort and pain in the localization of the inflammatory response.
  4. Signs of diaphragmatic irritation, pain in the abdomen and rapid breathing (if the process of inflammation is in the lower part of the lung tissue).
  5. Increased pain symptoms when coughing, shortness of breath and full breathing or movement (a consequence of fluid effusion into the pleural cavity).
  6. Hemodynamic dysfunction;
  7. Signs of cyanosis nasolabial triangle.

Like most infectious pathologies, the disease may be accompanied by intoxication syndrome, manifesting extrapulmonary symptoms:

  • hyperthermia;
  • deterioration of the general condition;
  • fatigue and weakness;
  • headache;
  • joint and muscle discomfort.

The first signs of pneumonia in adults

The initial signs of the disease are not easy to recognize. They may not be at all, rarely or weakly manifested. It all depends on the type of pathogen. Therefore, it is very important to pay attention to changes occurring in the body.

The first signs may appear:

  • weakness and fatigue;
  • a slight increase in temperature;
  • manifestation of dyspnea (lack of air);
  • prolonged cough (for several days).

An illness that was not noticed on time threatens to turn into a severe form with extensive symptomatology.

Read more: Signs of pneumonia in adults

Pneumonia without fever and symptoms

pneumonia in adults without fever

Possible manifestation of pneumonia in adults with no signs of temperature. Symptoms manifest weakness, lethargy, general malaise, frequent headaches, lack of appetite and shortness of breath.

Cough manifests itself in different ways. At the onset of the disease can be dry and intrusive, subsequently with the release of sputum, which is a favorable sign.

Sometimes the cough is insignificant, but painful with signs of increasing shortness of breath. Such signs indicate the accumulation of sputum in the bronchus system and the impossibility of their withdrawal, which threatens the development of obstruction in the respiratory tract.

An adverse factor is the increase in shortness of breath - evidence of stagnation of blood in the lungs or the development of intoxication syndrome. This condition is dangerous stagnation of fluid leaked from the circulatory system of the body in its tissue, causing puffiness of the respiratory organ.

The course of pneumonia in adults with or without minimal symptoms is often noted, which in itself is dangerous. This pathology is called hypostatic, due to congestive blood processes in the lungs (in immobile patients).

As a result of soaking the blood through the vascular walls, swelling of the bronchioles and alveoli is formed, their tissue is loosened, which ensures easy penetration into the organ of the causative agents of the disease.

Symptoms may be masked as signs of the underlying disease that caused the patient’s prolonged immobility.

In addition, the manifestation of cough may be insignificant, but painful. What should be paid special attention, since with such a development of the disease, the development of complications in the form of lung abscess or purulent pleurisy is not excluded.

Complications of pneumonia in an adult

The development of complications of pneumonia in adults can be not only after the disease itself, but also at the time of the manifestation of its acute form. Manifesting both pulmonary and extrapulmonary pathologies:

  1. Destruction of lung tissue due to the formation of various sized cavities that have the ability to suppurate.
  2. Violation of bronchial patency caused by edema (obstruction).
  3. Exudative inflammation of the pleura and serous tissue surrounding the lung, which can trigger the development of cancer pathology.
  4. The defeat of all tissues and organs, due to violations of cardiac functions.
  5. Signs of myocarditis, pericarditis and endocarditis.
  6. Inflammation of the membranes of the spinal cord and brain.
  7. Septic shock - a number of pathological disorders in the respiratory, nervous, cardiac and vascular system.
  8. Cardiogenic edema and sepsis, the spread of infection by the bloodstream.

. If the treatment is not timely and adequate, such complications can be fatal .

Diagnostic examination

Diagnosis of pneumonia, examination of the lungs It is impossible to diagnose pneumonia by symptoms alone, since they are similar to many signs of respiratory diseases. Connect to the diagnosis:

  • data from general and biochemical blood and sputum examinations;
  • X-ray examination of existing pathological changes in the lung tissues and their localization;
  • fibrobronchoscopy and CT examination of the chest;
  • identification of the pathogen by blood culture.

In complicated cases, a pulmonologist is attracted to the examination.

Treatment of pneumonia in adults

Treatment of pneumonia in adults and the elderly

The main principle of therapy is a complex treatment aimed at stopping inflammatory reactions in the lung tissues.

Drug treatment

  1. The choice of antibiotics for pneumonia in adults is due to the type of bacterial pathogen. Levofloxacin, Sumamed, Avelox, Cefix or Amrksiklav are most effective. Depending on the course of the disease, it is possible to assign their combinations. In severe cases, combined with taking drugs Tenavik, or Leflotsin.
  2. Expectorant drugs are prescribed for signs of wet cough and difficulty in getting viscous sputum.
  3. Severe course of the process is stopped by detoxification and glucocorticosteroid drugs aimed at eliminating toxic shock.
  4. At a critical temperature, preparations of antipyretic properties are used.
  5. Severe dyspnea and pronounced oxygen starvation syndrome are stopped by cardiovascular medicines.
  6. Multivitamins and immunomodulators are prescribed to strengthen the immune system.

The dosage of the drugs and the course of treatment are determined by the physician individually. To facilitate breathing, patients are assigned a number of physiotherapy courses:

  • oxygen therapy;
  • artificial respiration therapy - mechanical ventilation;
  • various inhalation techniques

Lung tissue inflammation surgery is used for complicated processes caused by purulent accumulation in the organ.

The basis for the prevention of pneumonia in adults is the elimination of hypothermia and the systematic hardening of the body. Other factors are also important:

  • timely treatment of infectious diseases;
  • special breathing exercises;
  • flu vaccine and streptococcal vaccination (older people-65 years);
  • minimizing inhalation of harmful substances and dust.

, так как усложняет и удлиняет процесс выздоровления, может привести к смерти . Self-treatment for this disease is unacceptable , as it complicates and prolongs the healing process, and can lead to death .

Pneumonia: ICD code 10

The international classification of diseases of the 10th revision of pneumonia is:

Class X. Respiratory Diseases

J10-J18 - Influenza and pneumonia

J18 - Pneumonia without specifying the pathogen

  • J18.0 - Bronchopneumonia, unspecified
  • J18.1 - Lobar pneumonia, unspecified
  • J18.2 - hypostatic pneumonia, unspecified
  • J18.8 - Other pneumonia, causative agent not specified
  • J18.9 - Pneumonia, unspecified

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