Pneumonia is an inflammation or infection of the lungs.
The lungs' air sacs fill with pus, mucus, and other liquid and can not function properly. Oxygen can not reach the blood. If there is insufficient oxygen in the blood, body cells can not function properly and may die.
Lobar pneumonia affects a section (lobe) of a lung. Bronchial pneumonia (or bronchopneumonia) affects patches throughout both lungs.
|Lobar Pneumonia||Bronchial Pneumonia|
What causes pneumonia?
Pneumonia is not a single disease. It can have over thirty different causes.
If you develop pneumonia, your chances of prompt recovery are greatest under certain conditions:
you are young
your pneumonia is diagnosed early
your defenses against disease are working well
the infection has not spread
you are not suffering from any other illness
The drug or drugs used are determined by the germ causing the pneumonia and the judgment of the physician. The drugs lower body temperature within a day or two and produce a dramatic recovery. After temperature returns to normal, medication must be continued according to physician's instructions, otherwise the pneumonia may recur. Relapses can be far more serious than the first attack.
Besides antibiotics, patients are given supportive treatment:
oxygen to relieve bluish cast to lips
medication to ease chest pain
and in the case of mycoplasma:
medication to help ease the violent cough
anything that can produce and maintain in the patient the best possible conditions for recovery.
A vigorous young person may lead a normal life within a week of recovery from pneumonia.
A middle-aged person, however, may require weeks before regaining accustomed strength, vigor, and feeling of well-being. Adequate rest is important to maintain progress toward full recovery and to avoid relapse.
Saskatoon, March 19th, 2003 - The Lung Association is closely watching reports concerning Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in Canada and around the world.
While Canadians are being urged by federal health officials not to panic, many are seeking information on SARS on the internet. The Lung Association is experiencing a sharp increase in numbers of visitors to its web site. On March 13 when the SARS story broke, www.lung.ca had more than 227,000 page views compared to the 22,000 page views on average days.