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Fr. Cedric replaces Fr. Dong Marcaida. Have a happy, fruitful and blessed days with us all!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

What is Bronchopneumonia?

Bronchopneumonia is a type of pneumonia that is characterized by an inflammation of the lung generally associated with, and following a bout with bronchitis. This is really a specific type of pneumonia that is localized in the bronchioles and surrounding alveoli. This article provides a general overview of this condition, including symptoms and treatment options for those who have been diagnosed with bronchopneumonia. The most common pneumonia-causing bacterium in adults is Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus)

· Symptoms of bronchopneumonia:
¨ Cough with greenish or yellow mucus; Fever; chest pain; Rapid, shallow breathing; Shortness of breath; Headache; Loss of appetite; fatigue

· Treatment of bronchopneumonia:
If the cause is bacterial, the goal is to cure the infection with antibiotics. If the cause is viral, antibiotics will NOT be effective. In some cases it is difficult to distinguish between viral and bacterial pneumonia, so antibiotics may be prescribed. Pneumococcal vaccinations are recommended for individuals in high-risk groups and provide up to 80 percent effectiveness in staving off pneumococcal pneumonia. Influenza vaccinations are also frequently of use in decreasing one’s susceptibility to pneumonia, since the flu precedes pneumonia development in many cases.

Unlike lobar pneumonia, in which an entire section or subdivision of the lung may be inflamed; bronchopneumonia tends to appear in patches in and around the small airways and passages. Outward clinical symptoms will be similar to those of lobar pneumonia, however, and can include fever, coughing, chest pain, chest congestion, chills, difficulty with breathing and blood-streaked mucus that is coughed up. Bronchopneumonia is more common in elderly people, and in association with other viral respiratory illnesses (bronchitis), and as a complication of those who have asthma. Pneumonia, including bronchopneumonia is a fairly common illness and it affects millions of people annually in the United States. The severity of the illness will depend on the type of bacteria or infection causing the illness, as well as the overall health of the person who has bronchopneumonia.

In order to diagnosis this illness, a doctor may take a chest X-ray, may test a sample of the sputum, may do a CBC to get a count of the white blood cells in the blood, may take a CAT scan, and/or may take a pleural fluid culture of the fluid surrounding the lungs.

Upon diagnosis, most people will be treated at home with antibiotics. If the patient is suffering from dehydration or has a severe case of bronchopneumonia, he or she may be treated in the hospital where the illness can be more closely monitored. With appropriate treatment, most people recover fully within a couple weeks. Very infirm or elderly people who do not get appropriate treatment can die from bronchopneumonia.

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