Pneumonia - causes, diagnosis, types, treatment, antibiotics

Updated: 2019/09/21


Now let's talk about pneumonia - that is, inflammation of the lung. According to statistics, this disease is among the five most common causes that can lead to death! So we figure out how to avoid pneumonia? How to reduce the risk of complications? How and what to treat in case of disease?

Сommon cause of death

Yes, this all familiar word pneumonia! And not so many diseases around which so much myths. Because it is considered a deadly disease and should be treated only in the hospital. This is not always the case. Someone believes that this disease requires a certain amount of research. Someone believes that it is a contagious disease and is transmitted from person to person everywhere.

All of the above is true or not. And that's what I wanted to talk about. I don't know about the top five deadliest diseases, but pneumonia kills sixty thousand people a year in the United States. Basically, it is post-influenza pneumonia (associated with influenza). It is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States and the eighth in Canada. Every year more than five million people suffer from pneumonia in Russia.

What is pneumonia? It is not always the case that you were infected by airborne droplets or otherwise. The question is that all bacteria or viruses (and twenty percent of all pneumonia have a viral etiology) entering our body provoke inflammation. If this were true, it would lead to the most severe epidemics. A lot of people would be sick, and half the world would be extinct.

The body protects us.

But we are saved by the fact that between the bacteria that live in our nasopharynx, which we exchange daily with each other and the body there is a protective mechanism.

While we breathe, cough, talk bacteria (including Staphylococcus aureus) move from one organism to another. And if there weren't certain defenses, we wouldn't exist as a species.

We have several defense mechanisms of the respiratory tract. A special mucous membrane that has a certain immune barrier. And hairs that look like hairs. They resist the penetration of bacteria by pushing them back through movement. This occurs when coughing or sneezing.


It happens that these mechanisms are broken and disabled. The reasons may be-alcohol consumption, nervous breakdown or penetration of complex bacteria. As a result, the protection is swept away and the disease begins to develop.

Pneumonia is often a complication of the flu.

Why mention the flu?

Typically, pneumonia is one of the known complications of influenza. The flu breaks all barriers, protection crashes and the virus gets on. And treat his very difficult. And actually people die not from flu, but from pneumonia.

This was a certain trick statistics, which says that during the season from the flu died only twenty people. Flu maybe twenty, and from complications more than a thousand. They don't die of flu, they die of complications. Therefore, it requires a very serious approach to the treatment of influenza. It needs to be treated to complete elimination.


Who is at risk for the disease is very complex pneumonia:

pneumonia group of risk

Attention should be paid to those who are very young or very old. They are either children or persons over sixty-five years of age. Also, a person with a disturbed diet should cause suspicion. In lung diseases such as asthma. Smokers with its pneumosclerosis are at risk and more readily, in more severe can transfer the disease. This includes people with comorbidities like diabetes. Diabetes is a disease that greatly affects the immune system, not to mention HIV.

Alcohol suppresses the cough reflex. Cough reflex is protection against infections. You can not cough and bacteria freely penetrate the bronchi down, causing pneumonia.

Diagnosis of pneumonia

Diagnosis of pneumonia

How to diagnose? How to distinguish just a banal bronchitis with a cough from pneumonia? This is really very important.


Patient says I have a cough with sputum separation. At the same time he has a high temperature - thirty-eight and above. It's probably not bronchitis. Here we are talking about pneumonia.

Medical examination

The correct action of the doctor for diagnosis…

  • listened to the patient with a stethoscope
  • heard wheezing in his lungs
  • it is visible as at the person breath sometimes lags behind
  • it is seen smoothed intercostal spaces

Dangerous symptom of pneumonia


As a rule, an x-ray is assigned to each patient who has a suspicion of pneumonia. However, a good doctor will determine pneumonia without x-rays!!

Urinalysis can determine the presence of infections that cause pneumonia


Today there is a useful analysis to determine the disease. Attention, oddly enough, is a urine test. You just take a urine sample and dip a litmus strip in it. And two of the most serious and frequent pathogens you can see. It's Pneumococcus and Legionella. Not even worth to do sputum analysis, these two pathogen will reveal a piece of paper.

In fact, sputum analysis is also required, but it will be faster in the urine to look at the pathogens with a piece of paper. Many tests can confirm the presence of the same pathogen. But these checks confirm that it is necessary to treat it sighting.

Research in pneumonia


Yes, of course, it should be done because there may be other problems. Sometimes it can be, let's say, tumors. Lung tumor clogged bronchi also may come pneumonia. Let's say you have a blood clot in your leg, and you flew(sat) for a long time. As a result, the clot came off and got into the vessels of the lungs. But thank God he didn't kill you. You developed shortness of breath and inflammation. Maybe too! Many things can be! X-rays therefore need to be done.

And here is what not to do-this to do re-x-rays immediately. After all usually as case. You were admitted to the hospital with pneumonia. You were x-rayed and given antibiotics. A week later, the doctor prescribes a second. What does he want to see? After all, the remains of inflammation on the x-ray will be visible in the lungs for at least another four weeks. During this time, you will already go to work and forget about the cough. And you'll have pneumonia residue on your x-ray. Therefore, it is absolutely uninformative.

Immediately after pneumonia, you do not need to do a second x-ray! Re-x-ray is appointed not earlier than 28 days after the first.

Example of untreated pneumonia

The woman, apparently, was ill with pneumonia. Four years ago she felt very ill. She caught cold first. I couldn't get a proper treatment. Suffered during the disease on his feet. Later, when I came to work, I felt the temperature. She was sent to the infirmary. There the therapist listened and began to doubt that she has a slight illness. Sent for x-rays. He's got serious pneumonia. Immediately called an ambulance from the nearest hospital.

At the same time, the patient only had a slight fever and a slight cough. Plus aching body a bit. There was no shortage of air!

She was hospitalized and prescribed antibiotics. First day loading dose and then one pill a day. During the week on sick leave, respectively. Then it passed. In this case, a second x-ray was not done.

There was inflammation and now it has passed after antibiotics. Just like any other person. It's hard to protect yourself here. Well, it is clear that if you are not a smoker, the condition is easier.

By the way, again the standard error. Pneumonia patients are all hospitalized. In fact, eighty percent of people should be treated at home. Even if antibiotics are used.

Under what circumstances can pneumonia be treated at home:

  • no high temperature
  • no feeling of lack of air(shortness of breath)
  • no nausea, vomiting
  • there are no contraindications to taking drugs orally
  • the normal rate of oxygen in the blood

There's a pulse oximeter that you put on your finger. It measures how much oxygen is in your own blood. You can immediately see the value of oxygen in the blood.

If the reasons listed above, you are observed - mandatory hospitalization!

Community acquired pneumonia

It's important to understand where you got it. As a rule, this can sin nursing homes, hospitals and similar institutions. If a medical professional who cares for the sick. Then all this is hospital pneumonia and it needs to be treated in a certain way.

Another option, when he got pneumonia at school, at work on the street. It's called community service. It is important to immediately determine where you are infected. As a rule, community and hospital are caused by different microorganisms. Therefore, the method of treatment they have different.

Hospital pneumonia is caused by pneumococcus. Therefore, it is clear how and what pills to treat. There is expensive there is cheap. And the duration of treatment is clear. Doxycycline course in 14 days.

Another situation with community service. Over the years, doctors have concluded that it can provoke not only pneumococcus. There may be chlamydia, Mycoplasma and others. Therefore, its treatment is quite different from the first type. Here importantly the right diagnosis. If it is a simple pneumococcus, which also happens, we treat it according to the usual scheme with doxycycline.

If agents are not typical, then it will not work with a standard set of antibiotics. In this case, the treatment is selected individually for the case.

Antibiotics: important!

A little more about antibiotics. After three days of treatment, severe symptoms will go away. The patient will feel relieved. But this euphoria can interrupt the cessation of antibiotics.

In any case, do not stop the course of antibiotics in case of improvement. For effective treatment of pneumonia it is necessary to drink a full course of antibiotics.

This may be followed not only by regression of treatment. But also the so-called mutation of bacteria. Even if you postpone antibiotics for a couple of days, then start taking them, the bacteria may not be susceptible to the drug. Develop a protective mechanism to them.

If you need to take antibiotics for 7 days-take seven days. If the course lasts 14-take 14. Do not pay attention to the state of health. Keep in mind that the doctor will not prescribe an antibiotic if it is not necessary.

Sometimes patients see that symptoms have ended conclude that they are healthy. Throw treatment in 5-6 days. A week later they forget that they were ill. Go to work. Sometimes inflammation can resolve. But sometimes suddenly increasing shortness of breath, temperature.

Fluid between pleura and lungs

Starting to show the effects of the disease goes untreated. Inflammatory fluid may accumulate between the pleura and the lung. This can lead to an abscess. The abscess can descend below the diaphragm and give a feeling of abdominal pain. Can cause heart problems. In addition, pneumonia can provoke vascular complications.


We have already drawn your attention to the fact that the cause of pneumonia is pneumococcus. The essence of the situation is that there is a vaccination against pneumococcus. It is included in the list of mandatory vaccinations. The cycle closes if you vaccinate your children and the elderly. They are supposed to repeat it after sixty-five years, because immunity gradually falls. If you'll be vaccinated against pneumococcus, then fifty percent of the pathogens you will be protected.

To protect against pneumonia, get vaccinated.

Returning to the statistics of mortality from influenza pneumonia. It is quite high. In autumn, the season of colds increases the percentage. People are dying and will continue to die from influenza-related pneumonia. So get vaccinated against the flu too! It may concern you.