Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs which can be caused by bacteria, fungi or a virus. It can range from mild to life threatening – when you require medical intervention at the earliest. When the air sac of one or both lungs are filled with some fluid or pus, it leads to inflammation which causes chest pain while breathing, cough with phlegm or pus, fever, chills and difficulty in breathing. Newborns upto 2 years of age and older people above 65 yrs of age are more prone to pneumonia as their immunity is not strong enough to fight the infection.
Types Of Pneumonia
There are four types of Pneumonia.
- CAP (Community Acquired Pneumonia): It is a type of pneumonia that occurs outside the hospital or other healthcare facilities and is caused by bacteria, bacteria like organisms, fungi or a virus like COVID-19 as well.
- HAP (Hospital Acquired Pneumonia): This type of pneumonia occurs during a hospital stay and can be serious as the person is already sick.
- Health Care Acquired Pneumonia: This type of acquired pneumonia occurs when patients stay for a long term in hospitals or go to outpatient clinics for dialysis or chemotherapy.
- Aspiration Pneumonia: This type of pneumonia occurs when you inhale food, liquid, saliva or vomit in your lungs and that causes an infection and it also occurs when there’s a brain injury.
What Are The Complications That Occur?
Even with treatment, some people with Pneumonia, who have other health ailments, suffer complications. Here are some of them:
- Bacteremia: When infection is caused by bacteria, it travels down to the bloodstream and can lead to septic shock that lowers the blood pressure and the heart cannot pump blood into the organs and organs may stop working altogether. So, if you are having symptoms like fever with chills, low blood pressure, stomach upset, fast breathing with a fast heart rate, you need to consult a doctor immediately.
- Lung Abscesses: Sometimes, due to pneumonia, pus pockets are formed in the lungs and give rise to fever, fatigue, weight loss, loss of appetite and coughing. This basically happens when a person is having bacteremia, gum disease, weakened immune system and regular intake of alcohol.
- Pleural Effusions, Empyema and Pleurisy: There are two types of layers surrounding your lungs called pleura. One from the outer side and one lines the part of your chest where the lungs sit. They help the lungs to move smoothly when one breathes. Sometimes, pain occurs while breathing and this is because the pleura swells and sometimes a fluid forms in between the layers and that is known as PLEURA EFFUSION. And if the fluid gets infected it leads to EMPYEMA.
- Respiratory Failure: With pneumonia, your lungs get infected and they will not be able to transfer oxygen to organs and won’t be able to get rid of carbon dioxide from the body which leads to this condition. Symptoms are fast breathing, irregular heart rate, anxiety, fatigue, losing consciousness or bluish tint on your skin, fingertips or nails.
- Kidney Failure: It’s not a common complication of pneumonia but when you are having bacteremia or septic shock, your heart may not be able to pump enough blood to your kidneys and they might stop functioning. Chances of kidney failure are high if pneumonia is coupled with other metabolic disorders.
- Heart Failure: Chances of heart diseases are higher if you have pneumonia as the heart may not be able to pump enough blood and oxygen as the heart itself doesn’t have enough supply.
All the complications of pneumonia are not to be taken casually. If you experience any of the above symptoms or complications, seek medical help immediately. You can also track symptoms such as low blood oxygen, low blood pressure, increased heart rate and high body temperature with the GOQii Smart Vital. Tracking these symptoms early can help you avoid any unnecessary complications and get medical assistance on time. You can get it here: store.goqii.com/smartvital