Complications of pneumonia

Pneumonia is a pathology in which the parenchymal tissue of the lungs is affected . As a result, the airways are filled with phlegm. This is bad for metabolic metabolism. Based on the modern classification, the disease is aspiration, nosocomial and community-based . Ignoring clinical manifestations is fraught with the development of negative consequences. Complications of pneumonia can be fatal.


Pathogens include pathogenic bacteria, viruses and fungi. The patient’s state of health improves several days after the start of effective therapy. You can return to your usual way of life in 7-9 days. Complications after pneumonia most often occur in the elderly and juvenile patients who are less than four years old. The factors provoking complications include diabetes mellitus, bad habits, chronic lung diseases. People at risk, if symptoms of complicated pneumonia appear, are subject to immediate hospitalization.

In children, pneumonia is more secretive than in adults. The clinical picture that occurs in the pathogenesis of most diseases of the respiratory system is quite similar to the symptoms of pneumonia. Therefore, it is rather difficult to differentiate an ailment at an early stage. A terrible diagnosis is made based on the results of a complete medical examination. It must include serological tests, X-rays, fluorography. The resulting image will give an idea of ​​the number of foci of inflammation and the affected area.

Pneumonia in any case is difficult. Factors that aggravate the situation include a weakened immune system, a sedentary lifestyle, taking medications, and harmful working conditions . In the treatment of pneumonia and the complications that it causes, medication and physiotherapy are used. The use of folk remedies is allowed. The therapeutic scheme is selected by the doctor.

Varieties of complications

All the negative consequences that develop with pneumonia are divided into two categories. Among them are pulmonary and extrapulmonary. The first include reactive pleurisy, obstruction of the bronchial tree, destruction of parenchymal tissue.

The list of extrapulmonary complications provoked by pneumonia includes diseases such as meningoencephalitis, myocarditis, meningitis, toxic shock, respiratory failure, abscess, sepsis. It should be noted that with pneumonia, the body’s defense is greatly weakened. This leads to an exacerbation of existing chronic diseases and the development of complications.

Respiratory failure

In the clinical picture, a rash on the skin, diarrhea, a debilitating cough, accompanied by sputum production, may appear. The list is supplemented by asthenic syndrome, obstructive bronchitis, fibrosis and bronchial asthma. Complications are classified according to their severity and severity.

Acute respiratory failure

This ailment provokes the appearance of the following symptoms:

  • rapid shallow breathing;
  • tachypnea;
  • cyanosis in the area of ​​the nasolabial triangle;
  • dyspnea.

Acute respiratory failure develops over several stages. At the first stage, the usual way of life is disturbed due to shortness of breath. Clinical manifestations that occur during the transition to the second are accompanied by a deterioration in the general condition. The third stage is characterized by dyspepsia, which is manifested by severe vomiting, stomach pain and stool disorder.

ARF is a consequence of pathological changes that develop with a decrease in the level of oxygenation. The latter is normalized through oxygen therapy. In the event of an emergency , artificial lung ventilation is performed.

Lung atelectasis

Lung atelectasis

Atelectasis is an ailment in which the lung tissue becomes less airy. Its decline provokes a decrease in the respiratory surface. Gas exchange is disrupted due to oxygen starvation of the parenchymal tissue. This complication provokes a decrease in the vital capacity of the lungs. As a result of this, the work of the compensatory mechanism is activated.

Lung abscess

Gangrene and lung abscess most often appear in adult patients. With the development of this complication, pus accumulates in the affected area. Other clinical symptoms include:

  • the process of melting bronchial tissue;
  • swelling of the hands and feet;
  • pain in the joints;
  • unpleasant smell.

To eliminate a dangerous ailment provoked by pneumonia, antibiotics are used . They are introduced into the body through a dropper. To prevent the occurrence of an abscess, it is necessary to undergo treatment to the end. Antibacterial drugs are not recommended during pregnancy .


Exudative inflammation of the pleura has two types: focal and protracted. The accumulated fluid compresses the lungs, which disrupts the breathing process. In this case, typical or atypical pneumonia is complemented by bacterial infection. A needle is used to remove the fluid. In especially difficult situations, the patient is prescribed surgical intervention. Pleural effusion is treated in parallel with pneumonia.


What are extrapulmonary complications?

Among the extrapulmonary complications of bilateral and unilateral pneumonia, cardiovascular diseases are distinguished. Their appearance is indicated by swelling, noisy breathing, wet cough, dyspnea and vomiting. Dehydration and progressive intoxication are considered to be factors that provoke a deterioration in well-being.

People with a history of community-acquired pneumonia are at increased risk of developing this complication . Toxic shock caused by massive damage to the lungs and the whole body is the main cause of acute cardiovascular failure, stroke.

Pericarditis is an inflammatory process in the area of ​​the pericardial sac. The outer shell can be damaged due to infection. In the clinical picture, there is general weakness, painful sensations behind the chest. The latter are aggravated by coughing and inhalation. With exudative pericarditis, fluid flows between the sheets of the outer shell. Effusion inflammation is fraught with accelerated formation of pus. The appearance of cardiac tamponade is possible.


In most cases, myocarditis occurs in a latent form. Disturbances in the work of the heart are detected using an ECG. The need for this method is due to the following features:

  • acute pain in the heart and back;
  • accelerated resting heart rate;
  • chronic fatigue;
  • dyspnea.


Pneumonia provokes the development of infectious myocarditis. The severity of the disease is determined by the intensity of the inflammatory process. When passing a diagnostic examination, an increase in the heart is revealed.

Myocarditis is often complicated by acute heart failure. The infectious form of the disease has several varieties, among them:

  • infectious toxic;
  • infectious and allergic.

The prognosis depends on the severity and type of myocarditis. Most often, everything ends with a complete recovery. The list of possible complications includes cardiosclerosis and cardiomyopathy. Ignoring the clinical manifestations caused by pneumonia and myocarditis leads to death.


Staphylococcal pneumonia is the most common cause of endocarditis. At risk newborn babies, infants, pregnant women and adults suffering from structural diseases of the heart. The same goes for people who use drugs. The heart tissue of a healthy person is practically immune to bacterial contamination. Damaged endothelium is a focus in the area of ​​which pathogens multiply. With thrombus formation , fibrin is deposited.

Other types of complications

The rest of the consequences of pneumonia include sepsis and the ailments that they cause. Blood poisoning is evidenced by:


  • increased body temperature ;
  • fainting;
  • tachycardia;
  • cyanosis of the skin;
  • jumps in blood pressure;
  • low urine output;
  • mental disorientation.

The infection affects all vital organs.

How to avoid complications of pneumonia

Prophylaxis for viral and bacterial pneumonia can be specific and non-specific. The first group includes vaccination, the second – hardening, vitamin therapy and physiotherapy. The patient, regardless of age, should regularly visit the attending physician. His recommendations are binding. In especially dangerous periods, contact with infected people around the child and adult should be avoided . You can not expose the patient to temperature extremes. The room in which the patient is located must be regularly cleaned and ventilated.

Complications after pneumonia will not appear with effective therapy and successful rehabilitation. Treatment should take place in a hospital. Home measures are not enough.


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