What is pneumonia?

Pneumonia is the inflammation of the lung tissue caused by microorganisms. Mainly bacteria and viruses cause pneumonia, fungi can also cause pneumonia in immunocompromised patients.

Pneumonia-symptoms-what are they?

Symptoms of pneumonia are cough, sputum, chest pain, shortness of breath, palpitations, fever, sweating, chills, loss of appetite, weakness and malaise. Confusion and disorientation may also be observed, especially in elderly patients. Patients with pneumonia are not always expected to have all symptoms. Pneumonia may occur with a picture in which respiratory system symptoms such as cough, sputum, and shortness of breath are dominant, and in some patients, weakness, malaise and fever may be the initial symptoms.

How is pneumonia diagnosed?

The diagnosis of pneumonia is made by physical examination, chest radiographs, and, if necessary, computed tomography of the thorax. On auscultation of the lungs of patients with pneumonia, abnormal breathing sounds called crepitant rales are heard, but crepitant rales may not always be heard depending on the location and size of the involvement in the lung.

In addition, a finding called tuber sufl (bronchial breathing sound) is heard in fewer cases. Absence of physical examination findings does not mean that there is no pneumonia. In addition, pneumonia-specific findings are observed on chest X-ray. Lungs, which are airy tissue, can be observed radiologically in a color close to black, while pneumonic areas can be observed near white or in shades of gray. A normal chest X-ray does not mean that there is no pneumonia. Computed tomography of the thorax can be performed in order to confirm the diagnosis in patients with normal chest X-ray whose findings are suspected to have pneumonia.

How is pneumonia treated?

Depending on the clinical, radiological and other laboratory characteristics of the patients, it is decided whether they will be treated on an outpatient basis, in the hospital or in the intensive care unit. Pneumonia treatment is done empirically, since the causative microorganism(s) cannot be detected in approximately 50% of the cases, even with advanced examinations including bronchoscopic methods, the isolation of the agent takes time, and the possible microorganisms are predicted according to the location and conditions of the pneumonia. In other words, at the beginning of the treatment in outpatients, no examination is made for the causative agent, and antibiotic treatment is given for possible microorganisms. Pneumonia treatment is not only antibiotic therapy, but supportive treatment including proper hydration and rest is also necessary. Advanced tests and oxygen therapy may be required in hospitalized patients. Severe respiratory failure may develop in some patients with pneumonia, so these patients are treated in the intensive care unit depending on the ventilator. Pneumonia is a disease with high mortality in the elderly (and those with concomitant chronic diseases). Pneumonias of patients with suppressed immune system should be treated in advanced centers because their mortality may be high and special methods may be required for diagnosis.

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