Inflammation of the lungs in children: symptoms, types, treatment. How to distinguish pneumonia from other diseases
Inflammation of the lungs (or pneumonia) is a very common disease, which is dangerous for its serious complications and consequences. In the children's body, the development of respiratory organs has not been completed, and susceptibility to infections has also been increased. Pathological processes in pneumonia occur in all body systems, which is manifested by symptoms that are life-threatening. Parents should know how to act in case of suspicion of this disease, how the diagnosis is carried out, in which cases urgent treatment is necessary and how pneumonia differs from other diseases.
- Inflammation of the lungs and its pathogens
- Types and forms of pneumonia
- Causes of pneumonia in children
- Types of pneumonia and their symptoms
- Symptoms of pneumonia of various forms
- Asymptomatic course of pneumonia
- Features of symptoms in children of different ages
- Children under 1 year old
- Children 2-4 years old
- Children 5-6 years and over
- When is hospitalization made?
- Diagnosis and treatment of inflammation
Inflammation of the lungs and its pathogens
Functions of the lungs in the body are diverse. It is not only gas exchange (absorption of oxygen and removal of carbon dioxide), but also maintenance of blood coagulability, body temperature, protection against the entry of toxins and harmful bacteria into the body.
Inflammation occurs when the alveoli are destroyed by microorganisms. Violation of gas exchange leads to the appearance of dyspnea, and the rapid multiplication of microbes - to the occurrence of suppuration (abscesses).
Most often pneumonia occurs as a complication of colds in the cold season. Overcooling, lack of vitamins in food, insufficient exposure to ultraviolet rays weaken the body's resistance. The child's immune system does not cope with overloads. The younger the child, the higher the likelihood of the disease.
The severity of manifestations depends on the age of the child (in young children, the disease is more severe and the consequences are more serious), the general state of immunity, the vastness of the lungs' lesions and the type of inflammation. Possible complications in severe illness can be pulmonary edema, the appearance of an abscess, the accumulation of air in the pleura (the absence of pleural fluid that facilitates breathing), the emergence of hallucinations and delusions.
The consequences of inflammation can be the appearance of asthmatic attacks, the development of pulmonary heart failure, dry pleurisy, emphysema and cirrhosis of the lung, inflammatory heart diseases, anemia. This disease is contagious.
Types and forms of pneumonia
There are 2 types of pneumonia: primary and secondary.
Primary pneumonia is an independent pathology that arises from the ingress of microorganisms with inhaled air.
Secondary arises against the background of any other diseases (intestinal infections, pyelonephritis or during the period after surgery) due to a weakening of the overall immunity .
Infection can enter the respiratory system in 3 ways: airborne (from a sick child to a healthy one), hematogenous (through blood from other organs) and endogenous (from the mouth, throat and nose).
Causes of pneumonia in children
Causes of pneumonia can be:
- Chronic diseases of the respiratory system, oral cavity, nasopharynx.
- Weakened immunity.
- Infection with pathogens when in hospital (hospital pneumonia). They enter the body of the child from the air in the hospital, where he undergoes treatment, or are brought in by instruments during medical procedures, operations, and artificial ventilation. In the hospital there are weakened babies, besides there are more aggressive types of infection resistant to antibiotics, therefore hospital pneumonia usually takes place more heavily than community-acquired pneumonia.
- Respiration of the contents of the nasopharynx and oral cavity (for example, vomit or saliva with a large number of bacteria in the presence of patients with teeth). This type of disease is called aspiration pneumonia.
- Intrauterine infection (congenital pneumonia).
- The presence of heart disease or abnormal development of the respiratory, endocrine system.
The reason that pneumonia occurs more quickly in young children is the physiological underdevelopment of the respiratory system (the lungs are worse ventilated, since they are already insufficient than air filtration of bacteria).
Types of pneumonia and their symptoms
Infectious agents of the respiratory system can be viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites. Accordingly, distinguish between viral, bacterial, fungal and parasitic pneumonia. The disease can be acute and chronic.
Depending on which structural element of the lung is affected, the following types of pneumonia are distinguished:
- Focal (inflammation occurs in a separate focus of the lungs). This disease, usually a secondary type, appears after bronchitis . It is called bronchopneumonia. Most often occurs in children aged 1 to 3 years. Symptoms are dry cough, slight sore in the side and high fever. The improvement is about 5 days. Full recovery in 3 weeks.
- Segmental (1 or more segments of the lung are affected). It is usually observed in children 3-7 years. It is manifested by fever, coughing and chest pain.
- Share (individual lobes are affected). Typical symptoms are pain during breathing, shortness of breath, fever, wet cough, headache.
With total pneumonia, the lung is completely inflamed.
Video: Pneumonia and their symptoms
Symptoms of pneumonia of various forms
Symptoms of pneumonia are manifested in different ways for different types of disease.
It occurs in children in most cases. Its occurrence is closely related to seasonal outbreaks of acute respiratory infections. The peak incidence falls on the autumn-winter period. Infectious agents are influenza viruses , adenovirus , coronavirus and others.
Viral pneumonia is classified as an atypical (interstitial) variety of the disease. The difficulty is that the viruses constantly mutate, which often does not provide an opportunity to choose an effective treatment. Common symptoms of viral pneumonia are superficial frequent respiration, fever, wet cough, sore throat, headaches.
To suspect the development of viral inflammation, parents can by the following signs:
- after the child, infected with ARVI , felt better, the temperature reappears and deterioration occurs, the illness lasts more than 7 days;
- the child has a fit of cough during a deep breath;
- children complain of pain in the chest and stomach;
- there is shortness of breath;
- antipyretics do not help bring down the temperature .
If you have such symptoms, you should always call a doctor.
Note: It is possible to guess that the infection is viral, and not bacterial, by the color of the skin. In case of a viral infection, the face and ears of the child at the temperature are red, and when bacterial, they are pale, since exposure to bacteria on the vessels leads to their spasm and deterioration of the blood supply.
There is a typical form (its pathogens are staphylococci, streptococci, pneumococci, enterococci), as well as atypical (with atypical manifestations, erased symptoms). The causative agents of atypical bacterial pneumonia are mycoplasmas, legionellae, hemophilic rods and chlamydia.
Possible the development of bronchopneumonia, pleuropneumonia (affected pulmonary lobes and pleura). Inflammation can be unilateral or bilateral.
Typical bacterial inflammation develops rapidly, begins with a fever of 39-40 °, chills. There is a strong moist cough with sputum green or yellow. There is chest pain and difficulty breathing, sometimes delusional, abdominal pain, loose stools.
In atypical, for example, mycoplasmal pneumonia, flowing in a mild form, the temperature does not rise above 38 ° (subfebrile temperature is observed). A dry cough, a sore throat, a runny nose, a slight malaise, which can last up to 3 weeks, is disturbing.
In severe cases, the temperature is high, there is a severe headache, bleeding from the nose, a rash appears on the skin, cervical lymph nodes become inflamed.
Video: Symptoms of typical and atypical pneumonia. Possible complications
Inflammation occurs when the bronchus enters the lung (lung root). There is a right-sided radical and left-sided (the lungs are asymmetrical, in addition, the left is slightly smaller in size).
Right-sided is more common due to features of anatomy (right lung is deeper and more accessible to bacteria). The left lung is narrower, its ventilation is not so fast, so the disease lasts longer.
Symptoms are the same as with any bacterial inflammation: dyspnea, cough (at first dry, then wet), temperature to 40, weakness, sweating. However, pain in the chest, side and under the shoulder blade is absent. In children, the disease develops rapidly. Bronchitis in a few hours passes into pneumonia.
An acute disease that occurs when bacteria enter the lungs by airborne droplets, and spread to both lungs through the lymphatic and blood vessels. Symptoms appear after a few hours: high fever, weakness, cough (first dry, then with viscous sputum, which has impurities of blood), headache, herpetic eruptions in the nose and lips, respiratory failure, pain in the sides. Required hospitalization and treatment in the intensive care unit. The disease lasts up to 2 weeks.
This condition occurs as a result of the incomplete treatment of acute pneumonia. In severe cases, pneumonia can also develop into a chronic form.
The main manifestation of chronic disease in children is cardiovascular failure. In addition, shortness of breath, periodic attacks of wet cough with purulent sputum, inflammation of the nasopharynx, weight loss, general weakness, temperature 37.2-37.4 °, sweating.
Asymptomatic course of pneumonia
Sometimes with pneumonia there is no increase in temperature. Most often, children with immunity suffer from this inflammation of the lungs, who are depressed because of the diseases, uncontrolled administration of certain medications (including cough or antibiotic medications). It is called "silent" or "hidden" pneumonia. This form of the disease is dangerous, because the baby can not express clearly what bothers him, sometimes he does not even know how to talk.
At the same time, the child has symptoms such as a prolonged cough (more than 2 weeks), asymmetric retraction of the chest during breathing, syps, chest pain when turning the trunk, unhealthy blush, blue nose, a thirst, poor appetite, sweating, shortness of breath, frequent pulse.
The asymptomatic course of the disease is more common in adults, but it also occurs in babies. In this case, pneumonia is detected by accident, for example, when an X-ray is taken during a preventive examination for tuberculosis. The picture shows darkening. To clarify the diagnosis, a sample is made with antibiotics. If this is pneumonia, then after a 10-day course of blackout completely disappear.
Symptoms of bronchitis and bronchiolitis are very similar to lung inflammation. In acute bronchitis, wheezing occurs in the upper part of the chest during breathing, a strong cough (dry, gradually turning to wet). After a cough they become weaker or change in character. However, there is no shortness of breath. There are no pulmonary shadows on the X-ray, although the contours are changed.
Symptoms of bronchiolitis, which occurs mainly in children under 1 year, almost coincide with the manifestations of pneumonia, there is a pronounced cardiopulmonary insufficiency. Distinguish the disease only with the help of an X-ray by the presence or absence of changes in the lungs.
Features of symptoms in children of different ages
Causes of the disease and the nature of the inflammation is different in children of different ages. Especially rapidly develops infection in newborns and infants up to 1 year.
Children under 1 year old
Symptom of the disease is a change in the behavior of the child (tearfulness, drowsiness or, conversely, a bad dream). There is a strong cough dry or with purulent sputum. There is swelling of the body, face. The nasolabial triangle and phalanx of the fingers turn blue. You can determine the degree of dyspnea by counting how many breaths a child makes in 1 minute. In newborn children, they should be 50, at 3 years 30, at 6 years old 25. With respiratory failure, a child breathes much more often.
The kid lies down all the time on a healthy side. The chest muscles are unevenly drawn between the ribs during breathing. There is diarrhea, regurgitation . It is possible to stop breathing.
Especially likely the occurrence of pneumonia in children who are on artificial feeding, as they do not receive maternal immunoglobulin. Pregnant children are also at risk.
Children 2-4 years old
Typical symptoms are a gradual increase in temperature, which does not decrease with the help of antipyretics, increasing dyspnea. At a temperature, convulsions are possible. A great danger for children is bacterial damage to the intestine, which occurs simultaneously with pneumonia. Diarrhea and vomiting are observed. The kid refuses any food that threatens to exhaust the body. With critical weight loss is possible fatal outcome.
At 3 years old the child can already tell where it hurts. Parents can more easily understand what is happening to him and tell the doctor.
Children 5-6 years and over
Symptoms in these children are much easier to detect, because they can clearly describe their feelings. The manifestations of the disease are almost the same as in adults, infection occurs most often when visiting a children's collective.
When is hospitalization made?
Indications for this are breast age, as well as the presence of severe symptoms in children of any age, such as breathing, consciousness, manifestations of heart failure, severe drop in blood pressure, the detection of signs of abscess, extensive lesions of pulmonary lobes.
In less severe condition, treatment is done at home.
Video: Diagnosis, treatment and prevention of pneumonia
Diagnosis and treatment of inflammation
The main methods used to establish the diagnosis are:
- X-ray, with the help of which it is possible to detect foci of lung injury, to establish their localization and size;
- sputum analysis for determining the type of pathogen;
- a clinical blood test to determine its composition, the content of leukocytes and the type of infection;
- bronchoscopy - examination of the bronchi in order to determine the type of pneumonia.
The nature of the symptoms, the results of listening to the respiratory organs are taken into account.
With viral pneumonia, antibiotics are powerless. Children are prescribed antiviral drugs, at a temperature above 38 ° - antipyretic agents. Recommended bed rest, plentiful drink. Food should be high in calories, containing proteins and vitamins, but you should not force a child with pneumonia to forcibly.
An important role is played by the creation of normal climatic conditions in the room by frequent airing, maintaining coolness and humidity.
Cough medicines are given only if there is no sputum. Expectorant sputum is used to accelerate the excretion of sputum. When a bacterial infection is detected, antibiotics must be prescribed.
Warning: The correct choice of antibiotics is of great importance. If, in the presence of several species of bacteria, an antibiotic kills only some of them, the rest will multiply even faster if there are no competitors. The patient's condition may worsen.
Probiotics are used to eliminate intestinal dysbacteriosis. Sorbents can be assigned to remove toxins.
No other means (immunomodulators, antihistamines) are used to avoid side effects. Actively used physiotherapy, as well as such home methods, such as mustard compresses and breathing exercises.