Pneumonia is an infection that causes inflammation of the tissues and alveoli of the lungs. The causes of inflammatory lesions are mainly bacteria and viruses, although sometimes it can be caused by fungi. The incidence of the disease depends on the age of the child. The most common cases of pneumonia are children under the age of 5. It is important to recognize the symptoms in time. It is also useful to know the factors that increase the risk of pneumonia in children.
We talk about pneumonia in children with a specialist in family medicine, Dr. n. med. Mrs. Barbara Rusinek.
Let's start with the factors that increase the risk of pneumonia in a child
Factors that increase the risk of pneumonia in children are male sex, recurrent respiratory infections, immunological deficiencies, chronic diseases and malformations of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. The environment in which the child resides is also not insignificant: malnutrition, poor social and living conditions, exposure to environmental tobacco smoke. The disease has a more severe course in children under the age of 5 and in premature babies born before the 29th week of gestation.
How to recognize pneumonia in a child?
Symptoms of pneumonia in a child include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Fever and chills
- Lack of appetite
- Weakness and fatigue
- Pallor and weight loss
- Pain during breathing and deep breathing
When with a child to the hospital for pneumonia?
The decision to hospitalize a child depends on the severity of symptoms, the child's age, his general health and the results of additional tests. Here are indications for hospitalization of a child with pneumonia:
- Severe dyspnea
- Respiratory disorders
- Rapidly increasing weakness
- Low blood pressure
- Failure of treatment at home
In such cases, treatment in the hospital is necessary to provide young patients with appropriate medical care and monitor the condition. In some cases, treatment in an intensive care unit may be necessary, depending on the severity of symptoms and the child's condition.
Can pneumonia in a child be treated at home?
Pneumonia in a child can be treated at home, but it is up to the doctor to decide whether such treatment is sufficient. The decision to treat a child in a hospital setting depends on the severity of the disease and the condition of the young patient. The treatment of inflammatory lesions of the lungs in a child at home mainly includes symptomatic treatment and antibiotic therapy, under the systematic control of a doctor. First of all, the child should be provided with access to fresh, cool, well-humidified air. The ambient temperature should oscillate between 18-20 °C. Proper hydration and an easily digestible, age-appropriate diet are important. In the course of pneumonia, pain and fever may occur. To reduce them, analgesics and antipyretics properly selected according to body weight are used.
In each case, the decision on treatment is up to the doctor and should be based on the individual needs and condition of the child.
How long does pneumonia last in a child?
The duration of pneumonia in a child depends on several factors. The age of the child, the general state of health and the type of infection and the effectiveness of treatment are important. On average, a child's illness lasts from 7 to 14 days, but can last up to several weeks for patients with a more serious condition. It is important not to interrupt treatment and to monitor the child's condition until improvement is achieved.
Pneumonia in a child without fever
Pneumonia in a child can develop without a fever, but this is not common. Other symptoms that may be present include shortness of breath, cough, chest pain, pallor, lethargy and lack of appetite.
Viral pneumonia is one of the most common causes of lung infection in children. It can be caused by a variety of viruses, including rhinoviruses, adenoviruses, paragrpa virus and influenza virus. Symptoms of viral pneumonia can include cough, shortness of breath, runny nose, fever, sore throat, weakness and lack of appetite. Viral inflammatory lesions can usually be treated by maintaining good hygiene and drinking plenty of fluids. In more severe cases, antibiotic therapy or hospitalization may be required.
Bacterial pneumonia manifests itself with a high fever, a dry cough turning into a wet cough, and chills and chest pains may occur.
Indications for lung ultrasound in children
Transthoracic lung ultrasound in children is recommended for:
- Suspected pneumonia - ultrasound is an effective method used to detect and monitor the course of pneumonia in children,
- Lung diseases - can be used to detect and monitor lung diseases such as asthma, emphysema and COPD,
- Airway obstruction - Lung ultrasound is often used to detect and monitor airway obstruction, such as tracheal stenosis or bronchial obstruction.
What is an ultrasound of the lungs of children?
Transthoracic lung ultrasound in children is a painless and non-invasive imaging test that uses ultrasound waves to create images of patients' internal organs. Lung ultrasound is quick and safe, and is performed by qualified medical personnel. Not without reason, as of late, lung ultrasound has been called the stethoscope of the 21st century. It allows accurate imaging of a child's lungs.
Its greatest advantages include the lack of exposure to X-rays, the ability to observe very small lesions that may not be visible on an X-ray, and the ability to perform the examination multiple times in rapid succession, so that the effects of treatment can also be assessed.
When is a lung ultrasound recommended for a child?
There are many indications for the test, and the most important ones are:
- symptoms of acute respiratory infection - suspected bronchitis or already pneumonia, emphysema, pleural fluid, interstitial lung disease,
- prolonged cough,
- To assess the mobility of the diaphragm,
- In case of chest pain,
- If there is difficulty breathing or the child gets tired quickly,
- chest injury.
Transthoracic lung ultrasound in children is performed at CM Luxmed at 7 Orkana Street, booking is possible online.