Care of the older child with pneumonia
Pneumonia is a general term used to describe an acute inflammation of the pulmonary parenchyma. It is usually caused by an infective agent but it can also be due to physical, chemical or allergic factors. Pneumonias can be classified in three ways, according to clinical form, morphology or aetiology. Clinically, pneumonia may occur as a primary disease or it may be secondary to debilitating conditions such as whooping cough or measles. Morphologically, pneumonias can be subdivided into three main types. Lobar pneumonia, which is rarely seen nowadays, is inflammation of a large segment of one or more lobes of the lung. This type of pneumonia may affect only one lung or be bilateral. (Bilateral lobar pneumonia used to be termed ‘double pneumonia’.) Bronchopneumonia begins in the terminal bronchioles and becomes widespread involving much of the pulmonary parenchyma in the base of the lung. In interstitial pneumonia the inflammation is mainly confined within the walls of the alveoli. The most useful classification of pneumonia is by aetiology. There are four main causes of pneumonia: bacteria, viruses, myoplasms and aspiration of physical, chemical or allergic substances.
KeywordsAspiration Pneumonia Pneumococcal Pneumonia Infective Agent Whooping Cough Febrile Convulsion
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