Sunday, September 18, 2011

Pneumonia: When Breathing means Thriving

Normal Chest xray of a 3 year old kid

Bronchopneumonia is the patchy inflammation of the lungs while pneumonia is the inflammation of a lung lobe or entire lung.

 Pneumonia is the leading killer disease of children worldwide.

There are so many variations of the disease presentation; there is no one paragraph to explain when the right time to seek initial consult is. There are kids who develop bronchopneumonia or pneumonia after 2 days of cough and colds, and there are kids who have coughs most of the time who never get to see a doctor. They seem to be ok.

These are the symptoms of bronchopneumonia or pneumonia in children.

a. Rapid or difficulty in breathing
b. Cough
c. Fever
d. Chills
e. Loss of appetite
f. Wheezing

As pneumonia worsens, these can be seen.
a. indrawing of the chest wall
b. refusal to feed
c. Cyanosis of lips and nail beds. Lips become pale or blue
d. They may also experience unconsciousness
e. Hypothermia, the skin becomes cold. It’s the opposite of fever (for the doctor, it’s a scary sign.)
f. Convulsions or seizures

Associated conditions like malnutrition worsens pneumonia ,and, complications like lung abscess, fluid in the lungs, air compressing the lungs increases the chances of dying due to pneumonia.

At ICU, when their eyes becomes empty,skin becomes colds, lips turn blue and heart becomes mute...teardrops fall, wailing dawns, loneliness envelopes.

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