Diseases of the respiratory system are sometimes difficult to distinguish from each other, as they have many common symptoms. Aspiration pneumonia is a serious illness that requires immediate treatment, and the patient needs to notice the first manifestations of the disease in time in order to seek qualified help.
Symptoms of the disease
It is difficult to determine pneumonia by initial signs, since the symptoms of the disease are similar to other diseases and increase with the development of pathology. Even doctors do not always accurately diagnose, so at first they prescribe general medications.
The disease has 4 stages:
- the appearance of pneumonitis – damage to the pleural tissue of the lungs;
- accession of necrotizing inflammation;
- the development of a lung abscess – the formation of a cavity filled with pus;
- inflammation of the pleural sheets.
As soon as the patient develops aspiration, the body temperature begins to rise to 38 ° C, an unproductive cough is formed. The patient feels lethargic, loss of strength and psychological discomfort. If the treatment is delayed, then there are difficulties with breathing, pain in the chest area is felt. The temperature rises higher and higher, and the color of the mucous membranes and skin changes to bluish. Pretty soon, the patient notices a cough syndrome with foamy sputum, and sometimes with blood clots. Two weeks is enough for pneumonitis to develop into empyema and abscess. The indicators on the thermometer grow to critical limits, and pus begins to stand out along with the cough. The patient is disturbed by hemoptysis and putrid odor from the mouth.
The main factor causing aspiration pneumonia is the ingress of fluid or foreign bodies into the lungs. At the same time, the organ becomes infected with a fungal or bacterial infection, which also negatively affect the health of the bronchi and other organs of the respiratory system. In rare cases, the lungs get burned due to the pelting of gastric juice into them. This type of pneumonia is called chemical pneumonia and is often diagnosed in infants. The main reason is improper breastfeeding. In adults, it manifests itself due to the effect on the lung parenchyma of biologically active substances, which are the decay products of the affected tissues.
Moreover, foreign substances close the lumen of the bronchi, in whole or in part, which becomes the reason for the deterioration of ventilation of the lungs and “sticking” of its parts. It also leads to stagnation of bronchial secretions, which is an excellent breeding ground for the development of pathogens.
In newborns, pneumonia is formed for the following reasons:
- getting meconium masses into the child’s respiratory tract;
- birth injury;
- intrauterine infection;
- insufficiently developed lung tissue.
There is a great risk of giving birth to a baby with pathology if the course of labor was complicated by fetal hypoxia or a long anhydrous interval.
The most common infections accompanying aspiration pneumonia have anaerobic and gram-positive characteristics: about half of the sick have caught this particular genus of bacteria. Occasionally (about 10% of cases), diagnostics show that aerobic microorganisms develop in the lungs. In the remaining 40% of diagnoses, pneumonia has a combined form.
Inflammation of the lungs can be identified by an aspiration episode, which is confirmed by a number of laboratory tests.
First of all, the doctor examines and interviews the patient, listens to the lungs and compiles the general clinical picture of the disease. A characteristic sign of the pathology of the respiratory tract is the lag of the affected area of the lungs during breathing. Bad breath is also likely.
A blood test is a laboratory test method that is prescribed for all diseases. In the diagnosis of pneumonia, indicators of gas, hydrogen and biochemical composition are taken.
With the help of X-rays, the localization of pneumonia and the spread of pathology are determined. The picture also shows the accumulation of gas, foci of destruction and collapse of organ tissue.
Another necessary method is bacteriological culture of bronchial secretions. This is important at the stage of prescribing antibiotics in order to determine the resistance of pathogens to various drug compounds. In addition, washings from the bronchial tree are examined. If the patient has abscesses, then a transthoracic puncture is required, the principle of which is the collection of pathological tissues from the lung.
If the cause of aspiration pneumonia is a foreign body in the airway, then endoscopic removal should be performed. In conditions of complications, the patient is transferred to artificial ventilation .
To destroy pathogenic microorganisms, the doctor prescribes antibiotics, sometimes several. The therapeutic course lasts about 14 days, since pneumonia is a serious illness. To protect the digestive organs from the side effects of antibacterial drugs, you should drink special products for the intestinal microflora.
The resulting lung abscess must be drained. Excessive phlegm in the airways is removed with massage. Pharmaceutical agents are used to improve the discharge of mucus and pus, as well as recipes for traditional medicine.
Inhalation is also helpful in treating aspiration pneumonia, as it delivers drugs directly to the lungs. However, the doctor should know about the use of any method of therapy , since self-medication will not lead to good.
To prevent the appearance of aspiration pneumonia, you need to follow simple guidelines:
- Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help reduce the risk of many respiratory diseases. It is important to quit smoking, since tobacco smoke irritates the mucous membranes of the bronchi and nasopharynx, and also clogs the lungs with tar.
- Alcohol lowers immunity and makes the body more vulnerable to bacterial and viral infections.
- You need to take care of what kind of air you have to breathe. In hazardous industries where there is a lot of dust, dirt or harmful compounds, it is necessary to wear respirators. In urban settings, medical masks sometimes help, especially in metropolitan areas.
- The air at home should be humid enough to keep the mucous membranes from drying out.
- You need to closely monitor children, as babies often try to eat small objects, sometimes they get into the respiratory tract.
It must be remembered that strong immunity can prevent the occurrence of pathologies, so it is worth doing therapeutic exercises, eating right and quitting bad habits.
The later treatment for pneumonia is started, the higher the risk of complications. The inflammation can develop into a lung abscess, which lowers blood pressure and spreads the infection into the bloodstream. Thus, the pathology spreads throughout the body and can settle in the brain, provoking meningitis or other diseases. Due to general intoxication, due to poisoning with the waste products of pathogens, the liver starts to work worse and worse, and the patient is placed in intensive care. As a result, the body ceases to cope with diseases, and the person dies.
Aspiration pneumonia can be fatal if left untreated or done incorrectly. For this reason, it is necessary to come to a doctor’s consultation at the first sign of malaise. Next, you will need to follow all the prescriptions of a specialist.