Posted On Nov 23, 2022
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According to the WHO report of 2019, Pneumonia accounts for 14% of deaths in children below 5 years of age, all over the world. India has one of the largest and growing populations in the world. Which means a large number of children are in India.
In order to prevent or fight any adversary, one should first know and understand what it is or how it spreads. Pneumonia is a form of acute respiratory infection that impacts the lungs of a person. The lungs are muscular bags of flesh inside our body that help in absorbing oxygen from the air. The functional units for air exchange in the lungs are alveolus, these are small grape-like structured air sacs called the alveoli which are housed inside the lungs. These tiny air sacs act as air exchange units, in the case of a healthy individual. During an infection or pneumonia, they can become filled with body fluids or pus, etc. Often called the phenomenon of lungs filling with water in local terms. It is not water that fills up these body cavities, rather, it is body fluids or wastes which get accumulated due to infection. This makes breathing conditions more and more difficult for the patient. This strained and difficult breathing and lack of oxygen may cause pain since the organs in the body are in a deficit of oxygen.
Now that we know what Pneumonia is, let us understand the causes behind it. The condition can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or even fungi infection. Mostly it impacts people who are already fighting another infection or are severely immuno-compromised (low immunity due to underlying health conditions). Patients are usually young children, people with advanced age and related health issues, or those suffering other ailments like Cancer and or HIV, where the body cannot protect against secondary infections effectively.
Some common microbial agents that cause Pneumonia are Streptococcus pneumonia a strain of bacteria, Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib), and the respiratory syncytial virus is one of the most common viral infections that leads to pneumonia. To know more, visit our pulmonology hospital in Patiala.
In the case of infants, pneumonia can develop as a secondary infection, especially in those with HIV infections by birth, or those born prematurely.
Pneumonia is a treatable condition when diagnosed in time. The doctor may recommend antibiotics in combination to treat the infections. Hospitalization is recommended only in severe cases where the fluid buildup is beyond critical and hampering lung capacity. In such cases, the doctors may do medical interventions to drain out excess fluids from the lungs to help the patient breathe freely.
While these are some of the standard routes of treatment, infectious diseases may pose a threat if not diagnosed properly. Consult with our pulmonology experts in Patiala to know more about the treatment of pneumonia.
The best way to protect against any disease is through active immunization. Since the causal forces are known, getting immunized is easier. Vaccinations available against Streptococcus pneumonia, Hib, pneumococcus, measles, and whooping cough (pertussis) are known to help immunize the body against pneumonia.
For infants, regular and timely immunization of the mother pre and post-delivery is recommended for maintaining child health.
Adequate and appropriate nutrition according to age and body requirements is a must to maintain health. Breastfeeding the child for the initial six months is known to enhance the overall immunity of the child. Encouraging mothers to breastfeed their children as much as possible during the initial months of birth can help in the long run.
A lot of infections can be prevented by maintaining basic hygiene in and around the house. Hygiene practices and cleanliness can prevent many infections and illnesses, thus also helping prevent pneumonia as a secondary infection.
With the right care, and timely medical intervention, Pneumonia can be managed and lives can be saved. Ensure regular checkups and follow-up care for your toddler with expert doctors from Manipal Hospitals Patiala.
Consultant - Pulmonology
Manipal Hospitals, Patiala