Pneumonia, known as inflammation of lung tissue, is still ranked the first in causes of death due to infections. Emphasizing that a late diagnosis of pneumonia increases the possibility of death, Chest Diseases Specialist Dr. Ü. Seha Akduman pointed out that continuous coughing, as well as fever, dephlegmation and shortness of breath might point to a newly-developing gase of pneumonia.
Pneumonia is the 6th cause of death in the UK and the USA, and the 5th in Turkey.Yeditepe University Hospital's Pulmonologist Dr. Seha Akduman, who said that early and correct treatment is life-saving in this important problem that can occur with various microbes such as bacteria, viruses and fungi, gave the following information about the statistics indicating the severity of pneumonia; “The data show that the mortality rate for outpatients is 1-5%, compared to 12 percent for hospitalized cases and 40 percent for patients requiring intensive care support”
Death Rate Increases as the Disease Develops!
Pointing out that in studies conducted in our country, the mortality rate from pneumonia varies between 1% and 60%, depending on the severity of the disease, Dr. Akduman stated that it has been shown that the rate is significantly higher (10.3-60%) in severe pneumonia requiring hospitalization.
Elderly Patients might not Exhibit Fever!
Saying that the fever seen in pneumonia is an indicator of the fight against microbes, Dr. U. Seha Akduman, however, stated that people over the age of 65 with weakened immunity may not have a fever response and continued by saying:
“Classic findings, fever, cough, sputum production, chest pain are the most common symptoms. However, patients may also experience symptoms such as shortness of breath, loss of consciousness, nausea-vomiting, frequent breathing, muscle-joint pains, and fatigue. However, it is important for elderly people to be more careful. Because in elderly patients, pneumonia can occur only with impaired consciousness without fever.”
Do Not Use Antipyretics Unsupervised!
Stating that the delayed diagnosis of pneumonia increases the risk of loss of life, Dr. Akduman also stated that especially following the increase in viral upper respiratory tract infections in the current period, the addition of persistent cough, dark-colored sputum production and shortness of breath may be a sign of newly developed pneumonia, Dr. U. Akduman continued as follows, “There is a point that I would like to draw attention to here. Uncontrolled use of drugs or antipyretic agents against upper respiratory tract infections can suppress fever and symptoms. In this case, the diagnosis of pneumonia will be delayed, as going to the doctor will be delayed. For this reason, drugs should not be used without the recommendation of a doctor. After viral infections, it is important to rest well, get enough and quality sleep, pay attention to fluid intake and nutrition. It is also recommended to regularly use vitamins related to the immune system, such as vitamin D”.
People in Risk Groups should get both Pneumonia and Flu Vaccines
Reminding that especially COPD, asthma, diabetes, chronic kidney patients, cancer patients and people receiving chemotherapy should definitely get pneumonia and flu vaccines to be protected, Chest Diseases Specialist Dr. U. Seha Akduman gave the following information on what to pay attention to:
“Smoking is a very serious risk factor for pneumonia. For this reason, if the patient is using it, he should definitely quit and even stay away from places where he can be exposed to cigarette smoke in order not to be a passive smoker. In addition, it is important for people with weakened immunity to stay away from crowded environments and pay attention to the use of masks in terms of protection.”
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