Traces of World Pneumonia Day Today, November 12
Vasco Barreto, Internist and SPMI Member
As the winter and low temperatures approach, there is an increase in the number of influenza and other respiratory infections. In some patients, such as older people or those with chronic diseases, they may progress to more serious conditions, including pneumonia.
Pneumonia is an infection of the lung tissue, more precisely the lung parenchyma, which distorts the gas exchange at the level of the alveolar and respiratory bronchioles and causes respiratory distress.
This disease develops in most cases by inhalation of bacteria and other microorganisms in the pharynx and oral cavity. More rarely, it can also develop in a hospital setting where there are a large number of microorganisms that come into contact with other patients, through the transmission of infected particles or droplets, as well as some parts of which are resistant to antibiotics.
Pneumonia, which is more common in the elderly and in children, affects other groups at risk such as chronic patients (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, HIV infection, renal failure, immunosuppression, etc.), smokers, alcoholics and drug addicts.
The most common symptoms are shortness of breath or shortness of breath, pain in the chest, fever (high in most cases), tremors, spread and headache and coughing in the muscles. Generally, these complications occur rapidly with the possibility of manifesting at the same time.
It is important to make a timely diagnosis as all the symptoms mentioned are common to other diseases of the respiratory system. With the exception of very serious cases, the physician should be able to decide on whether to start treatment on the basis of symptoms and physical examinations. Thoracic radiography often forces the patient to go to the hospital.
With regard to the treatment of pneumonia, it focuses on general precautions such as resting, proper nutrition, and correct fluid intake for antibiotic administration and control of symptoms. Depending on the severity of the condition of the patient, it is decided whether or not to be treated or accepted according to the conditions of the outpatient clinic.
Even with the majority of outpatients, pneumonia is a major cause of hospitalization in our country. The reason for this is the clinical picture or the severity of the fragility, which is seen as a frequent occurrence of chronic diseases.
Pneumonia can be prevented and prevented by adopting a healthy lifestyle (including healthy eating, exercise, smoking cessation, and less alcohol consumption) and by very important vaccination. pneumococcal vaccine and influenza vaccine. It is essential to follow the rules of infection control in the hospital environment (hand hygiene, the use of protective equipment, respect for signs in the ward).
There is still much resistance to seasonal vaccination against the influenza of the Portuguese population. Therefore, it is important to work on the importance of awareness raising and vaccination in this potentially fatal disease, especially in the risk groups. Only this year, the National Health Service, in addition to the vaccines that can be purchased at prescription drug stores, applies 1.4 million doses of vaccine.
Adoption of the above-mentioned preventive behaviors is a major step in reducing the number of cases of pneumonia; Other health care professionals to promote initiatives that the Internal Diseases Society of Portugal wants to continue to wager or to encourage population-driven initiatives or to continuously educate internal diseases.