Bacterial pneumonia is an infection that affects one or both lungs. There is inflammation of the alveoli of the lungs where they are filled with pus, fluid and cellular waste. This results to diminished ability to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide in the body.
The severity of the infection is based on the type of bacterium, overall health, age and immunity of the individual. The condition is mainly treated using antibiotics.
What are the causes?
The usual cause of bacterial pneumonia is the gram-positive bacterium streptococcus pneumoniae. Other gram-positive bacteria that can cause the condition include staphylococcus aureus and bacillus anthracis.
Community-acquired pneumonia are cases that spread via respiratory droplets through coughing and sneezing. As for hospital-acquired pneumonia, it is acquired from exposure in a healthcare facility. This is harder to treat than the community-acquired type since the bacteria has established resistance to antibiotics.
What are the indications?
- Chest pain that is aggravated by coughing and breathing
- Runny nose
- Tenderness or soreness of the chest if the area is touched
- Coughing up of blood or blood-tinged mucus
- Shortness of breath
- Body aches
- Abdominal pain
- Antibiotics are the main line of treatment for bacterial pneumonia. The type of antibiotic used is based on the bacterium and health status of the individual. Some of the commonly used antibiotics include clarithromycin, amoxicillin, fluoroquinolones and azithromycin.
- As supportive therapy, oxygen or ventilation is provided. This is ideal for older individuals and those who suffer from significant difficulty in breathing.
- Pain medications for bodily aches and fever.
- The individual should be given more fluids to drink and get enough rest.
- A humidifier can be used to keep the air moist.