Consequences and complications of pneumonia in children

Inflammation of the lungs is a serious infectious disease that is quite common in young patients. At the modern level of pharmacology, this diagnosis does not sound so threatening. However, the severity of the disease cannot be underestimated, especially if pneumonia is diagnosed in young patients. In children, inflammation often develops very quickly, and this is a direct path to lightning-fast complications. The consequences of pneumonia in children can be severe and even fatal. To prevent this from happening, treatment of children should be started immediately.

Pneumonia in a child

Manifestation of the consequences of pneumonia in children

The defeat of a small part of the lung tissue is always easier than childhood bilateral pneumonia. With a favorable course of pathology and optimal treatment, simple pneumonia is completely cured in a month without any consequences.

Pneumonia differ from each other depending on the type of damage to the body by infectious agents (viruses, bacteria, pathogenic fungi), as well as on the area of ​​inflammation:

  • focal;
  • left-sided;
  • right-sided;
  • croupous;
  • segmental;
  • drain.

Focal and lobar pneumonia

With focal viral pneumonia, only single foci of lesions up to 1 cm in size are formed, and with confluent inflammation, several foci are combined into one large one.

Parents should be wary of croupous, drainage and bilateral pneumonia, which do not pass without leaving a trace and can cause serious consequences. Atypical childhood pneumonia is difficult to treat, the disease is protracted, and antibiotics do not always save the situation. Also, acute purulent destructive pneumonia with the formation of massive foci of inflammation proceeds seriously with frequent complications.

Childhood complicated left-sided pneumonia is a serious concern for pediatricians. Due to poor blood circulation in the left bronchus, antibacterial and other necessary medications cannot fully reach the affected area of ​​the lungs on the left. Thus, the therapy of pneumonia is delayed, and this is the cause of complications.

Varieties of complications

Timely diagnosis of pneumonia symptoms is an important factor in the prevention of possible problems with children’s health. All known complications are observed in children both during the course of acute inflammation and after recovery. Pediatrics distinguishes between acute processes that are associated with complications, as well as remote consequences.


Complications of pneumonia are observed either during treatment or within 2-3 weeks after recovery. These include:

  1. Neurotoxicosis . This is an intoxication of the body that affects the child’s brain. Neurotoxicosis manifests itself in several stages. At first, the baby is too active, his emotions range from unreasonable laughter to crying and hysteria. Further, the child becomes inhibited, he loses his appetite, becomes lethargic and depressed. The next stage is even more dangerous: the child’s temperature rises sharply, and convulsions begin, right up to respiratory arrest.
  2. Waterhouse-Friederiksen syndrome . This complication also has the character of intoxication, manifests itself in a febrile state, often accompanied by problems with the respiratory system.

Chronic pneumonia is characterized by reduced immunity and frequent relapses of inflammatory processes in the respiratory system.


The late consequences that appear in a child who has already had pneumonia include the following:


  1. Pleurisy. It is characterized by inflammation of the membrane of the lungs – the pleura. It is impossible to cure a child without surgical help.
  2. Lung abscess. The problem manifests itself in the form of the formation of a purulent seal in the tissues of the lung.
  3. Diuresis. Intoxication makes itself felt in the form of urination disorders.
  4. Sepsis and septic shock. The most dangerous complications. Help is provided only in the intensive care unit or the intensive care unit.

The most dangerous complications

The most dangerous complications:

  1. Exudative pleurisy. In this case, a puncture of the chest is necessary to pump out the accumulated fluid.
  2. Abscess with the appearance of an abscess in the pulmonary parenchyma.
  3. Empyema of the pleura, which turns into diffuse inflammation.
  4. Pneumothorax – occurs when air and pus enters the chest cavity.
  5. Sepsis is a threat of death.


Many complications after pneumonia leave a mark for life and can even pose a serious threat to life. In the absence of treatment or improper therapy, the inflammatory process in young patients often spreads to other organs and is the cause of disturbances in the activity of the heart, gastrointestinal tract, central nervous system and urinary tract. Intoxication gradually captures the fragile organs of the child’s body, which causes irreparable damage to the health of the baby, sometimes even death.

Inflammation of the lungs in premature babies

Pneumonia in a premature baby

Pneumonia in premature babies, whose immunity is very weak, can occur as an independent pathology or as a complication of other diseases. Due to pneumonia, premature babies can develop both pulmonary and extrapulmonary complications to the same extent. Pulmonary includes: lung atelectasis, pleurisy, bronchopulmonary dysplasia and others. Among the extrapulmonary complications, the most common are anemia, rickets, heart and respiratory failure, and physical and mental retardation.

How to avoid complications

Since the most common causes of complications after pneumonia in children are reduced immunity or an advanced stage, complications can be avoided in the following ways:

  • in all ways to increase the immunity of the child. This is hardening, the correct daily routine, moderate physical activity, good nutrition;
  • timely clinical diagnosis of the disease;
  • timely treatment of infectious pathologies of the nasopharynx and other respiratory diseases, which often cause pneumonia and its complications;
  • strict adherence to all recommendations of the attending pediatrician.

To avoid complications, children with pneumonia under 1 year old are 

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