Patients with Pneumonia: Assessment and Treatment

Fever, shivering, cough productive of sputum, are the early symptoms of pneumonia (File, 2016). Pneumonia occurs more often in the right side lungs due to the anatomical structure of the bronchial tree (Middleton, 2012), and it may define the cause of the patient’s right-sided chest pain.

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Initially, it is important to assess the severity of the disease. Researchers suggest implementing such tools as the pneumonia severity index; assessment of confusion, urea, respiratory rate, and blood pressure; and using some laboratory tests including a serum chemistry panel and arterial blood gas determination (File, 2016). Before the antibiotic treatment, the conduction of sputum evaluation and bronchoscopy are required. The selection of treatment methods substantially depends on the type of agents provoking the disease. Therefore, some pathogen-specific tests may be required. Urine analysis, sputum antigen test, immune serologic test, as well as histologic examinations, can help to indicate the type of pneumonia (File, 2016).

Antibiotic treatment is commonly used. For the penicillin-susceptible type of bacterium, it is suggested to use penicillin G and amoxicillin while, for the penicillin-resistant agents, the antimicrobial remedies should be selected considering the degree of their sensitivity (File, 2016). The period of antibiotic treatment depends on the severity of pneumonia – in moderate disease, it may last from 7 to 10 days, while in severe pneumonia the treatment May 20 days or more (File, 2016).

The type of pathogen also defines the treatment time. Extracellular pathogens will require about 7-day treatment, while intracellular pathogens will be treated for 14 days (File, 2016). It is important to limit the period of antibiotic therapy because the excessive duration of the course may lead to a patient’s sensitization and create a risk of superinfection.

References

File, T. (2016). Treatment of community-acquired pneumonia in adults who require hospitalization. UpToDate. Web.

Middleton, J. (2012). Pneumonia and chest infections. The North West Institute of Holistic Medicine. Web.

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