1. Bronchopneumonia is an inflammation of the lungs, caused by infection from viruses, bacteria, or fungi. The infection causes inflammation in the alveoli (also known as air sacs) in the lungs, causing the alveoli to become filled with pus or fluid.
There are two types of pneumonia: lobar and bronchial. Lobar pneumonia affects one or more sections, or lobes of a lung and is more common in adults (30-55years).
Bronchopneumonia on the other hand affects both lungs and the bronchi and is common in the extremes of life.
2. Bronchopneumonia is caused by bacteria and viruses
Bronchopneumonia is caused by bacteria or virus; viral bronchopneumonia is usually less severe. Most cases of bacterial pneumonia are caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pneumonia though several bacteria could be involved in one infection.
Most cases of viral pneumonia are caused by the same viruses that cause the common cold.
The infection spreads through the air by coughing, sneezing and breathing the germs from dust. Many infections of bronchopneumonia while on admission in hospital.
3. Those at the extremes of live are most at risk.
Certain groups of people are more at risk for developing bronchopneumonia. Risk factors include age (being age 2 or younger and being 65 years old or older), chronic lung disease, HIV/AIDS, smoking, alcohol abuse, low resistance (immunity) to disease and poorly ventilated house..
4. Symptoms of bronchopneumonia include fever and cough.
Symptoms of bronchopneumonia include fever, cough that brings up mucus, shortness of breath, chest pain, rapid breathing, sweating, chills, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, confusion or delirium, especially in older people
5. Diagnosis is based on examination and tests.
A physical examination by the doctor with emphasis on the chest followed by blood tests and chest x-ray is usually enough.
Your doctor may also have your blood tested to determine which virus, bacterium or fungus is causing your bronchopneumonia.
If the infection is very severe, the doctor may order additional tests listed below:
• A computed tomography (CT) scan produces a picture similar to an X-ray but in more detail. This will tell your doctor where the infection is occurring in your lungs.
• A sputum culture tests a sample of mucus from your lungs to determine the cause of the infection.
• A bronchoscopy involves putting a camera down your throat to look at your bronchial tubes. This can be done to determine if there are other factors causing your bronchopneumonia.
• A pulse oximetry. This determines the amount of oxygen in your blood and hence how badly affected the lungs are.
6. The infection can easily be treated
Viral bronchopneumonia normally does not require medical treatment and improves on its own in one to two weeks. Anti-viral drugs can help reduce the length of your illness and the severity of your symptoms.
If you have bacterial bronchopneumonia, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics to destroy the bacteria causing the infection. Most people feel better within one to three days after starting antibiotics. However, it is important that you finish your entire course of antibiotics to prevent the infection from returning.
Your doctor may also suggest a fever reducer or cough medication for both viral and bacterial bronchopneumonia. These medications can help relieve your symptoms, but will not cure you.
Resting and drinking plenty of warm fluids will make you recover quickly.
Admission to the hospital may be done if the infection is severe and the person is very old or very young.
7. Bronchopneumonia is preventable
Bronchopneumonia can be prevented in the following ways:
a. Vaccinations: Vaccination against pneumonia is available and is effective for five years. It is recommended for children under five years, the elderly over 65 years and individuals who are at increased risk for developing bronchopneumonia such as those with chronic diseases, HIV/AIDS, Diabetes mellitus, reduced resistance against diseases, sickle cell disease and many others; This has been shown to reduce the number of sickness and death from pneumonia.
In December 2014, the Federal Government of Nigeria introduced Pneumonia Vaccine into the routine National Immunisation Programme.
Children are to receive three vaccinations at 2 months of age, 4 months and 12 months.
Adults over the age of 65 years are to receive one pneumonia vaccination only.
This vaccine is also suggested for children who are between the ages of 2 and 5 who are at risk for developing pneumococcal disease or children who attend a childcare facility.
b. Avoiding smoking
c. Moderate alcohol intake
d. Proper hygiene
e. Good nutrition
f. Good accommodation.
h. Staying well-rested