.Pulmonary hypertension.


                     .Pneumonia .


Pneumonia is an inflammatory condition of the lung primarily affecting the small air sacs known as alveoli. Symptoms typically include some combination of productive or dry coughchest painfever and difficulty breathing. The severity of the condition is variable.

Pneumonia is usually caused by infection with viruses or bacteria, and less commonly by other microorganisms.. Identifying the responsible pathogen can be difficult. Diagnosis is often based on symptoms and physical examination. Chest X-rays, blood tests, and culture of the sputum may help confirm the diagnosis. The disease may be classified by where it was acquired, such as community- or hospital-acquired or healthcare-associated pneumonia.

Risk factors for pneumonia include cystic fibrosischronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), sickle cell diseaseasthmadiabetesheart failure, a history of smoking, a poor ability to cough (such as following a stroke), and a weak immune system.

Vaccines to prevent certain types of pneumonia (such as those caused by Streptococcus pneumonia bacteria or that linked to influenza) are available. Other methods of prevention include hand washing to prevent infection, and not smoking.

Treatment depends on the underlying cause. Pneumonia believed to be due to bacteria is treated with antibiotics. If the pneumonia is severe, the affected person is generally hospitalized. Oxygen therapy may be used if oxygen levels are low.

Each year, pneumonia affects about 450 million people globally (7% of the population) and results in about 4 million deaths. With the introduction of antibiotics and vaccines in the 20th century, survival has greatly improved.  Nevertheless, pneumonia remains a leading cause of death in developing countries, and also among the very old, the very young, and the chronically ill. Pneumonia often shortens the period of suffering among those already close to death and has thus been called "the old man's friend".

People with infectious pneumonia often have a productive coughfever accompanied by shaking chillsshortness of breath, sharp or stabbing chest pain during deep breaths, and an increased rate of breathing. In elderly people, confusion may be the most prominent sign.

The typical signs and symptoms in children under five are fever, cough, and fast or difficult breathing. Fever is not very specific, as it occurs in many other common illnesses and may be absent in those with severe disease, malnutrition or in the elderly. In addition, a cough is frequently absent in children less than 2 months old. More severe signs and symptoms in children may include blue-tinged skin, unwillingness to drink, convulsions, ongoing vomiting, extremes of temperature, or a decreased level of consciousness.

Bacterial and viral cases of pneumonia usually result in similar symptoms. Some causes are associated with classic, but non-specific, clinical characteristics. Pneumonia caused by Legionella may occur with abdominal pain, diarrhea, or confusion. Pneumonia caused by Streptococcus pneumonia is associated with rusty colored sputum. Pneumonia caused by Klebsiella may have bloody sputum often described as "currant jelly".  Bloody sputum (known as hemoptysis) may also occur with tuberculosis, Gram-negative pneumonia, lung abscesses and more commonly acute bronchitis. Pneumonia caused by Mycoplasma pneumonia may occur in association with swelling of the lymph nodes in the neckjoint pain, or a middle ear infection.  Viral pneumonia presents more commonly with wheezing than bacterial pneumonia. Pneumonia was historically divided into "typical" and "atypical" based on the belief that the presentation predicted the underlying cause.  However, evidence has not supported this distinction, therefore it is no longer emphasized.

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Rose Jackson

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Journal of lung