Pneumonia is an acute infectious disease that occurs with inflammation of the lung tissue. In most cases, children and the elderly are at risk for developing pneumonia. Pneumonia in children 2 years old should be carried out under medical supervision in order to prevent the weakening of immunity to a critical level. Adults need to monitor the condition of children and seek help at the first signs of pathology.
Classification of the disease
Pneumonia is an inflammation of the lungs that is characterized by shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, coughing, and wheezing. Its danger lies in the fact that, under certain conditions, the disease leads to pleurisy, abscess and ablation of the tissues of the paired organ. The disease is classified according to several features:
- According to epidemiological data, pneumonia is intra- and community-acquired, atypical and provoked by immunodeficiency states.
- By the type of pathogen, the disease is differentiated into bacterial, fungal, viral and mixed.
- According to the mechanism of development, the disease is divided into: primary pneumonia – in this case, the pathology develops independently; secondary – this characteristic indicates that the disease appeared as a complication due to improper or untimely treatment; aspiration – this kind of pneumonia is provoked by the ingress of dust, vomiting, gastric juice or other foreign substances into the organ; post-traumatic – there are cases when pneumonia affects the patient after diagnostic procedures, for example, bronchoscopy; postoperative – the likelihood of a medical error always exists, so you should contact a qualified doctor.
- By the presence of complications. As a rule, secondary diseases appear in the absence of adequate treatment for pneumonia.
- According to X-ray morphological signs, the disease is divided into: focal – pathology captures separate areas, which merge into one with the development of inflammation; segmental – in this case, a whole segment of the organ is affected; croupous – with this form of pneumonia, inflammation affects the pleura; interstitial – usually caused by fungi, viruses and pneumocysts, leading to disruption of the structure of alveolar cells and connective tissue of the parenchyma.
- Pneumonia can be left -sided , right-sided and total.
In addition, pneumonia has three stages: mild, moderate, and severe. They differ in symptoms and risk of complications. Children 2 years old are not able to talk about the discomfort they are experiencing, so adults should learn to recognize the first signs of airway pathologies in order to start treatment on time.
Why does pneumonia occur?
It should be noted that young children easily get pneumonia due to the characteristics of the body. This is due to the following reasons:
- the respiratory organs are not yet fully formed in babies , therefore the airways are narrower;
- immaturity of lung tissue results in insufficient gas exchange;
- the mucous membranes of the respiratory system are very delicate, there are many vessels in them, which cause severe edema with the slightest deterioration in immunity;
- underdevelopment of epithelial cilia leads to a weakened removal of sputum, which is formed in large quantities with pneumonia;
- for babies, the abdominal type of breathing is characteristic, therefore, pathologies of the gastrointestinal tract impede gas exchange;
- Children’s immunity is not as strong as that of adults, and it is more difficult for him to cope with diseases.
There are also a number of factors that increase the risk of pneumonia in a young child. Firstly, if the mother does not breastfeed the baby, but uses artificial formula, he does not receive nutrients from breast milk. Secondly, in some families, adults are not embarrassed by the fact that they smoke next to the baby. Tobacco smoke is harmful even for non-smokers if they have to inhale it. Third, poor home hygiene is a suitable environment for the development of fungi and other pathogens that can enter the baby’s lungs and cause pneumonia.
The set of signs of pneumonia in children 2 years old differs depending on the stage of the disease. Doctors distinguish mild, moderate and severe forms.
The disease in the initial stage is often confused with other pathologies of the respiratory system, since the manifestations are rather blurred. Blood pressure does not rise, but the temperature can reach 38 ° C, the clarity of consciousness is not lost, intoxication is almost invisible. On the X-ray image of the lungs, the focus of inflammation is small.
The average degree is manifested brighter: the child is diagnosed with sweating, weakness, the indicators on the thermometer rise to 39 ° C, the blood pressure decreases slightly. Failures in the work of the heart begin, shortness of breath appears.
Severe pneumonia is characterized by severe intoxication, fever, tachycardia, severe shortness of breath, blue mucous membranes and lips. At this stage, complications appear that seriously worsen the well-being of the child.
A toddler under two years old cannot directly talk about the disease, so he begins to be capricious and cry a lot in an attempt to attract the attention of adults. He eats little, sleeps poorly, his normal behavior changes, and this should alert parents. Better to check your concerns and go to the hospital than wait and get complications of pneumonia.
Which doctor to contact
First, you should make an appointment with a pediatrician, then he can give a referral to a pulmonologist who specializes in pathologies of the respiratory system.
Depending on the causes, clinical picture and concomitant diseases, you may need to consult an immunologist, otolaryngologist and gastroenterologist.
What tests to take
First, the pediatrician will examine the baby, listen to his lungs and interview adults who need to be told about the child’s diseases, nutrition, sleep patterns and medications previously prescribed to the baby.
Drawing up a clinical picture is the first stage. After that, the pediatrician gives a referral to a narrow specialist for a more accurate examination. The child needs to be taken for a blood test to identify the inflammatory process and changes in the composition of the blood. Sputum is also submitted to the laboratory so that the doctor can prescribe effective drugs for a specific causative agent of inflammation. Also, the baby takes an x-ray of the respiratory organs to clarify the type of pneumonia and the extent of the affected tissue.
There are a few rules that adults should pay attention to:
- The child needs to be given more liquid, preferably fortified natural juices, fruit drinks.
- It is recommended to use folk recipes with medicinal herbs: they stimulate expectoration and relieve symptoms.
- For the treatment of infants , increased breastfeeding is required.
- A child from 2 years old is fed with light food that does not cause heaviness in the stomach.
As a rule, for pneumonia, young children are admitted to the hospital rather than left for home treatment. If the condition improves, the baby can be sent home.
Doctors prescribe drugs to kill the pathogen, but they depend on the specific type of pathogen. There is a combined means of broad-spectrum, killing several species of microorganisms. It should be noted that antibiotics also affect the beneficial intestinal microflora, therefore, to maintain normal digestion, you need to give the child lactobacilli, for example, Linex and Lactofiltrum .
As symptomatic therapy, they use:
- Bromhexine and Ambroxol for sputum thinning;
- Glucose solution in the form of injections and Ringer to detoxify the body;
- rectal suppositories Tsefekon and Nurofen to relieve high fever;
- Berodual for the relief of bronchospasm;
- Smecta and Enterosgel for the elimination of waste products of pathogens.
Traditional medicine is also used to treat babies at home . Chamomile and coltsfoot help with pneumonia: these herbs reduce pain and ease coughs. Decoctions of medicinal herbs are used for inhalation: they can be poured into a nebulizer or breathed directly over a saucepan under a towel. Infusion on water and rose hips helps to treat symptoms and enriches the child’s body with vitamins, allowing you to quickly get rid of the disease.
The course of the disease is influenced by the general condition of the child and the background on which the pathology develops. As a rule, if you do not hesitate with treatment and drink the right antibiotics, the prognosis is good. In 90% of cases, there are no structural changes in the lungs, and the disease can be cured in 30 days. Death threatens only if the illness is found late and the body is severely weakened.
To reduce the risk of disease, you need to get vaccinated. There is a polysaccharide pneumococcal vaccine and a haemophilus influenza vaccine that need to be given to infants.
You should also keep the house clean, prevent hypothermia of the child and not give him medication without a doctor’s testimony. In the summer and autumn, you need to give more berries and fresh vegetables to eat. Proper nutrition and a healthy lifestyle are the basic rules for maintaining good immunity.
Pneumonia must be diagnosed as early as possible, otherwise it will cause complications.
Babies develop oxygen starvation, due to which the functioning of all body systems is disrupted. The first to suffer from hypoxia are the main organs: the brain, heart and liver. The chronic stage of pneumonia, abscess, bronchial obstruction, pleurisy and destruction of lung tissue develop. As a result, the nervous system is weakened, intoxication begins , cells die off and death occurs.
The consequences are neurotoxicosis , myocarditis, anemia, meningitis and sepsis – a serious pathology in which the infection enters the bloodstream.
Pneumonia in babies should be diagnosed on time, since the definition of the disease at a late stage is fraught with death. Adults need to closely monitor the child and note non-specific behaviors. You also need to follow all the doctor’s prescriptions and not self-medicate.