Pneumonia Symptoms

Hospital Acquired Pneumonia(Nosocomial Pneumonia) Causes

Pneumonia that is contracted in the hospital or any other type of institution is more severe than pneumonia acquired in the community. The organisms in the hospitals are more aggressive in nature and therefore are harder to treat. Generally, people in hospitals and nursing homes have low immunity and they tend to be sick even without pneumonia. Therefore, they are not able to fight the infection.

Staphylococcal Pneumonia: Staphylococcus aureus is known to cause only 2% of community-acquired pneumonias and about 10 to 15% of hospital-acquired pneumonia. This type of pneumonia usually occurs in people who are hospitalized for another disorder. This pneumonia usually affects the very young, the very old, and people who are already debilitated by other illnesses. It also tends to develop in alcoholics. Although uncommon, it can be serious; the death rate is about 15 to 40%. The patients who develop staphylococcal pneumonia are usually already seriously ill.

Staphylococcus pneumonia symptoms are typical. It has been noticed that the chills and fever are more persistent in staphylococcal pneumonia than in pneumococcal pneumonia. Sometimes, the symptoms may worsen quickly accompanied with severe and potentially fatal deterioration in lung function. Staphylococcus may sometimes cause collections of pus (abscesses) in the lungs and, in children; it may produce lung cysts that contain air (pneumatoceles). The bloodstream may carry the bacteria from the lung to produce pus elsewhere. In the pleural space, there are collections of pus and this is called as empyema, and is relatively common. These collections can be drained using a needle or a chest tube.

Antibiotics that fight against Staphylococcus are usually a type of penicillin known as oxacillin or its equivalent. However, there are an increased number of strains of staphylococcus becoming resistant to these penicillins and hence use of other antibiotics, such as vancomycin is recommended.

Bacterial Pneumonia is caused by Gram-negative bacteria, such as Klebsiella (Friedlšnder's pneumonia), Pseudomonas, Enterobacter, Proteus, Serratia, and Acinetobacter. This type of pneumonia tends to be serious.

Gram-negative Bacterial Pneumonia Gram-negative bacterial pneumonia usually occurs in hospitalized patients and patients who live in nursing homes. Fortunately, they rarely infect the lungs of healthy adults. People who are on breathing machines like ventilators that are used in intensive care units are usually susceptible to Gram-negative bacterial pneumonia. Other people who are at high risk of contracting this disease are infants, older people, alcoholics, and people with chronic diseases, especially immune system disorders.

The symptoms of gram-negative bacterial pneumonia, though similar to gram-positive pneumonia, the people tend to be sicker and worsen quickly. Gram-negative bacteria quickly destroy the lung tissue, so gram-negative pneumonia tends to become serious quickly. Fever, coughing, and shortness of breath are common. The sputum that is coughed up may appear thick and red, the color and consistency similar to that of currant jelly.

Since the infection is serious in nature, the person is treated intensively in the hospital with antibiotics, supplemental oxygen, and intravenous fluids. Sometimes, the patient may be put on a ventilator. Unfortunately, despite receiving excellent treatment, people dying of gram-negative pneumonia account to about 25 to 50%, which is relatively high.


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