Pneumonia is defined as acute infection of the alveoli and the surrounding tissues that is life threatening to most of the population. It affects all ages of both sexes, especially the immunocompromised, chronically- ill and aged clients. It is the 6th most common cause of death in general and the most fatal of all infectious diseases acquired in the hospital setting.
It is a result of invasion of bacteria, viruses, mycoplasmas, fungal agents, and protozoa. The portal of entry for these pathogens could be because of inhalation of toxic chemicals, smoke, dusts, and gases or aspiration of foods, fluids, or vomitus. Furthermore, pneumonia could be classified into two: hospital- acquired and community- acquired. It could be considered nosocomial or hospital- acquired if its onset occurs 48 hours or more after hospital admission. Streptococcus pneumonia is the most frequent cause of community- acquired pneumonia while Pseudomonas aeruginosa is the most common pathogen found in hospital- acquired pneumonia occurrences.
The risk factors for pneumonia may involve smoking, exposure to air pollution, previous history of respiratory tract infection, prolonged immobility, malnutrition, debilitating disease, advanced age, and being immunocompromised.
Clinical Manifestations of Pneumonia:
- Fever with chills
- Pleuritic chest pain
- Sputum production, hemoptysis
- Dyspnea, shortness of breath
- Headache and easy fatigability
- Crackling breath sounds
- Increased tactile fremitus
Complications of pneumonia involving the pleural portion may include pleuritis and empyema, development of lung abscess and bacteremia.