Definition of "pneumonia."
It is an inflammation of the lung.
It causes hardening of the lung tissue as exudate collects.
Pneumonia can be caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, aspiration, or radiation.
Factors that increase the risk of pneumonia.
Smoking and air pollution.
Upper respiratory infection.
Chronic diseases (diabetes, heart disease, cancer, renal disease, etc.).
Exposure to intensely cold, damp weather.
Inhalation of noxious substances.
Age (very young or very old).
Frequent intoxication from alcohol.
Signs and symptoms of pneumonia.
Fever and chills.
Cough (may be productive).
Green, yellow, or rust-colored sputum.
Loss of appetite.
Rapid pulse and respirations.
Measures to prevent or manage pneumonia.
Get adequate rest and eat well-balanced meals to decrease susceptibility to infection. (Provide "Daily Food Guide" handout.)
Avoid upper respiratory infections, or get prompt treatment for early symptoms.
Drink a large fluid intake to thin secretions and replace fluid loss.
Avoid the spread of infection.
Wash hands thoroughly.
Dispose of used tissues properly.
Avoid smoking because it destroys ciliary action and increases secretions.
Avoid excessive alcohol, which lowers resistance to pneumonia.
Perform coughing and deep-breathing exercises. (Provide "Effective Cough Techniques" handout.)
Get a yearly pneumonia vaccination if in a high-risk group.
Take medication as ordered.
Possible complications of pneumonia.
Empyema (accumulation of purulent exudate).
Meningitis, pericarditis, endocarditis.
Congestive heart failure.