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Aubrey Unique M.

Definition: Pneumonia is an infection in one or both lungs. It can be caused by bacteria, viruses,
or fungi. Bacterial pneumonia is the most common type in adults. Pneumonia causes inflammation
in the air sacs in your lungs, which are called alveoli. The alveoli fill with fluid or pus, making it
difficult to breathe.

Starting from the trachea (windpipe), two large tubes known as bronchi (airways) separate and
distribute air to the left and right sides of the lungs.
Bronchi gradually form from more generations, like a tree branch, and become smaller and smaller.
As they spread to the ends of the lungs they eventually form a grape-like structure known as the
alveoli. (shown to the left)
The diaphragm is the large dome shaped muscle that contracts and relaxes during breathing. It also
separates the chest and abdominal cavity. Muscles near our ribs also help expand our chest for
Causes of Pneumonia:
 Bacterial pneumonia. This type is caused by various bacteria. The most common is
Streptococcus pneumoniae. It usually occurs when the body is weakened in some way,
such as by illness, poor nutrition, old age, or impaired immunity, and the bacteria are able
to work their way into the lungs. Bacterial pneumonia can affect all ages, but you are at
greater risk if you abuse alcohol, smoke cigarettes, are debilitated, have recently had
surgery, have a respiratory disease or viral infection, or have a weakened immune system.

 Viral pneumonia. This type is caused by various viruses, including the flu (influenza), and
is responsible for about one-third of all pneumonia cases. You may be more likely to get
bacterial pneumonia if you have viral pneumonia.

 Mycoplasma pneumonia. This type has somewhat different symptoms and physical signs
and is referred to as atypical pneumonia. It is caused by the bacterium Mycoplasma
pneumoniae. It generally causes a mild, widespread pneumonia that affects all age groups.

 Other pneumonias. There are other less common pneumonias that may be caused by other
infections including fungi.
Risk Factors:
 Are 65 or older
 Have other conditions like asthma, diabetes, or heart disease
 Are recovering from surgery
 Don’t eat right or get enough vitamins and minerals
 Have another condition that weakens your body’s defenses
 Smoke
 Drink too much alcohol
 Have viral pneumonia
Signs and Symptoms
 High fever up to 105 F
 Coughing out greenish, yellow, or bloody mucus
 Chills that make you shake
 Feeling like you can’t catch your breath, especially when you move around a lot
 Feeling very tired
 Low appetite
 Sharp or stabby chest pain, especially when you cough or take a deep breath
 Sweating a lot
 Fast breathing and heartbeat
 Lips and fingernails turning blue
 Confusion, especially if you’re older
There are two kinds of shots for bacterial pneumonia:
PCV13 (Prevnar 13) is for:
 People 65 or older
 Kids under 5 years
 People who have a high risk of bacterial pneumonia
PPSV23 (Pneumovax) is for:
 People 65 or older
 Children older than 2 who have a high risk of bacterial pneumonia
 People between 19 and 64 who smoke or have asthma

 Wash your hands regularly, especially after you go to the bathroom and before you eat.
 Eat right, with plenty of fruits and vegetables.
 Exercise.
 Get enough sleep.
 Quit smoking.
 Stay away from sick people, if possible.

Diagnostic Test
 Pulse oximetry (a small gizmo clipped to your finger that checks for enough oxygen in
your blood)
 Blood tests
 Tests of the gunk you cough up (“sputum”)
 CT scan to look more closely at your lungs
 Get lots of rest.
 Drink plenty of fluids (they’ll loosen up the gunk in your lungs so you can cough it out).
 Use a humidifier or take a warm bath (more gunk-loosening).
 Don’t smoke.
 Stay home until your fever goes down and you aren’t coughing anything out.
 Antibiotics
Most people who are treated for bacterial pneumonia start feeling better in a few days, but it can
take a few weeks before you feel 100% better. Make sure you keep your follow-up appointments
so your doctor can check your lungs.