Bronchopneumonia - Symptoms, causes and treatment

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Bronchopneumonia - Symptoms, causes and treatment
Bronchopneumonia - Symptoms, causes and treatment
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Bronchopneumonia is inflammation of the airways (bronchi) and the small sacs in the lungs (alveoli). This condition can cause mild to severe symptoms and is at risk of causing life-threatening complications

Bronchopneumonia is a type of pneumonia, which is inflammation of the lungs due to viral, bacterial, or fungal infection. Similar to other types of pneumonia, bronchopneumonia also causes symptoms of difficulty breathing due to narrowing of the respiratory tract.

Bronchopneumonia - Alodokter

Bronchopneumonia is the most common type of pneumonia experienced by children, especially in children under 2 years of age. This condition is also the leading cause of death in children under 5 years old.

Causes of Bronchopneumonia

Bronchopneumonia is generally caused by a bacterial infection. These types of bacteria include:

  • Streptococcus pneumoniae
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Haemophilus influenzae
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae
  • Escherichia coli
  • Proteus species

In addition to bacterial infections, bronchopneumonia can also occur due to viral infections, such as the COVID 19 virus, or fungal infections, such as Aspergillus fumigatus.

A person can get bronchopneumonia if he inhales these bacteria, viruses, or fungi.When inhaled, these organisms will gather in the throat and into the alveoli. Infection occurs when the organism has reproduced enough and the body's immune system is weakened. In the end, there is inflammation and damage to the bronchi and lungs.

Bronchopneumonia can be transmitted from one person to another through sneezing or coughing. Transmission can also occur when touching the surface of objects exposed to splashes of mucus or phlegm of the patient.

Contagion often occurs in the hospital environment in patients who come for treatment for other diseases. Bronchopneumonia that occurs in a hospital environment is also usually caused by bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics.

risk factors for bronchopneumonia

There are several factors that can increase the risk of bronchopneumonia. These factors include:

1. Age

People aged 65 years and over and children aged 2 years and under are at higher risk of developing bronchopneumonia and its complications.

2. Environment

Bronchopneumonia is more at risk for someone who works or frequently visits hospitals or nursing homes.

3. Lifestyle

An unhe althy lifestyle, such as smoking and consuming alcoholic beverages, can increase the risk of bronchopneumonia.

4. Medical condition

Bronchopneumonia can be triggered by certain medical conditions, such as:

  • Chronic lung disease, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Weak immune system, for example due to chemotherapy or the use of immunosuppressant drugs
  • Chronic diseases, such as heart disease or diabetes
  • Autoimmune diseases, for example rheumatoid arthritis or lupus
  • Cancer
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Chronic Cough
  • Conditions that require the use of a ventilator

Symptoms of Bronchopneumonia

The symptoms of bronchopneumonia in adults are similar to the symptoms of pneumonia in general and can get worse in a few days. Symptoms can be:

  • Fever
  • Cough with phlegm
  • Shortness of breath
  • chest pain
  • Easy to sweat
  • Shiver
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Exhaustion
  • Daze, especially in the elderly

These symptoms will be more severe in people who have weak immune systems or suffer from other medical conditions.

While in infants and children, the symptoms may vary, including:

  • Flustering
  • Fever
  • Stuffy nose
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • No appetite or drinking
  • Fast pulse
  • Blue lips
  • The chest looks sunken inward when breathing
  • Breath sounds (wheezing)

When to see a doctor

Immediately consult a doctor if you or your child experience the above symptoms, especially if accompanied by the following complaints:

  • Fever of 39 degrees Celsius or more
  • Shortness of breath
  • chest pain
  • Coughing constantly, especially when coughing up greenish-yellow phlegm

A doctor's check-up is highly recommended for those of you who experience symptoms of pneumonia and have the following conditions:

  • Over 65 years old or less than 2 years old
  • Have a weak immune system or suffer from other medical conditions, such as heart failure or chronic lung disease
  • Currently undergoing chemotherapy or taking immunosuppressant drugs

Diagnosing Bronchopneumonia

The doctor will ask about the symptoms experienced by the patient, followed by a physical examination, namely by using a stethoscope to detect wheezing or other sounds that indicate respiratory problems. The doctor will also examine the patient's chest where breath sounds are difficult to hear. This could indicate an infection or fluid in the lungs.

To make a diagnosis, the doctor will carry out further examinations, such as:

  • Chest X-ray, to detect areas of the lungs that indicate bronchopneumonia, especially at the bottom
  • Complete blood test, to count white blood cell levels which can indicate infection
  • Blood or sputum culture, to determine the type of organism causing the infection
  • Scan with CT scan, to see the condition of lung tissue in more detail
  • Bronchoscopy, to see more clearly the respiratory tract and take a sample of lung tissue for examination
  • Pulse oximetry, to measure oxygen levels in the blood

Bronchopneumonia Treatment

Mild bronchopneumonia can generally be treated at home by meeting fluid needs, getting enough rest, and taking medication to relieve symptoms. This condition usually goes away on its own in 2 weeks.

In bronchopneumonia due to bacterial infection, the treatment is with antibiotics, such as amoxicillin. Patients usually get better in 3-5 days. Keep in mind that antibiotics must be consumed until they run out according to the doctor's advice. This is to prevent recurrence and ensure the infection has cleared.

Meanwhile for bronchopneumonia caused by a viral infection, the doctor will give you antiviral medication. This drug serves to reduce the duration of infection and prevent symptoms from getting worse.

In severe bronchopneumonia, treatment needs to be done in a hospital, which can include hospitalization, as well as infusion of antibiotics and fluids. If the oxygen level in the patient's blood is low, the doctor will provide oxygen assistance.

Bronchopneumonia Complications

Bronchopneumonia can cause a number of complications, according to the cause of the infection. These complications can be:

  • Blood flow infection (sepsis)
  • Lung abscess
  • The buildup of fluid in the lining of the lungs (pleural effusion)
  • Breathing failure
  • Kidney failure
  • Heart problems, such as heart failure, heart attack, or heart rhythm disorders

Bronchopneumonia Prevention

Prevention of bronchopneumonia is generally the same as preventing pneumonia, namely by the following efforts:

  • Take care of personal hygiene, for example by washing your hands properly and regularly.
  • Go through full vaccinations, especially vaccines to prevent pneumonia-triggering diseases, such as the Hib vaccine, annual flu, pneumococcal, measles, and whooping cough.
  • Don't smoke so your lungs don't get damaged.
  • Keep your immune system strong by getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and eating he althy foods.
  • Maintain your body's fluid intake by drinking enough water.

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