Pneumonia In The Geriatric Essay

1833 words - 8 pages

Pneumonia In The Geriatric
Pneumonia in the elderly is something that needs to be taken very seriously in this day and age. According to the Center Of Disease Control, statistics say that over 800 million seniors above the age of 65 are at risk for pneumonia. They also say that 1 out of 20 adults that get pneumonia die. What is pneumonia? “Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that can be caused by fungi, virus, bacteria, and many other germs,” says Dr. Norman Edelman, the chief medical officer for the American Lung Association. What this infection causes is inflammation of the lungs; more specifically, this is inflammation of the alveoli which results in fluid in the alveoli sacs. The ...view middle of the document...

Elderly feeling dizzy is one of the last things that they want because of such a high risk of a fall, which can make things much worse with a broken hip from a fall which will result in hip surgery and the infection that the patient is already dealing with on top of it. Being in the hospital with a weakened immune system is not the best place for them and may make elderly patients more prone to pick up other agents that will make the Pneumonia even worse and harder to fight off. (Boothby, L. A. (2004)
Getting Pneumonia diagnosed is as simple as a doctor’s visit. The doctor runs a series of tests to confirm that pneumonia is the primary infection that one has. The test that is performed starts with simply listening to the lungs. What the doctor is listening for is a bubbling noise that is called rales and rattling. In medical terminology would be called Rhonchus. Hearing these specific sounds means that there is fluid in the lungs and there is some type of infection. The next test would be a pulse oximetry test. The pulse oximetry measures how much oxygenated blood is circulating in your blood stream. It is just a simple tool that would go on the patients’ finger to receive a reading. The downside to pulse oximetry is that if the patient has cold hands or poor circulation one is not going to get a very accurate reading. The way that doctors are able to receive the most accurate reading on whether or not the patient has Pneumonia is through a chest x-ray or CT scan. With those readings the doctor can look at the x-ray or CT scan and actually see where the Pneumonia is and how serve it is. The doctor can also have a blood analysis and a phlegm analysis to determine what kind of organism the causative agent is.
There are two main types of pneumonia which are bacterial pneumonia and Viral Pneumonia. Viral Pneumonia is the most common type of Pneumonia and it is less serve. Viral pneumonia makes up about fifty percent of the infection in population today. Bacterial pneumonia is the strain that the elderly are most susceptible to catch. Bacterial pneumonia is worse than viral pneumonia, and is estimated to be responsible for forty thousand deaths each year. Bacterial pneumonia can cause a lot of damage to one’s lungs and can have an onset that is slow or very rapid. When it is bacterial, it can spread throughout and can cause infections in the blood stream or even Meningitis, which always results in death. (Boothby, L. A. (2004)
Treatment is very important in pneumonia depending on what specific strain of pneumonia that one’s acquired. If one has acquired a Viral Pneumonia there is not a lot that a doctor can do, because antibiotics will not work. The best thing that someone can do with Viral Infection Pneumonia is to eat healthy, get a lot of rest, and consume lots of fluids. If one follows that your chances of getting rid of the infection and it not turning into Bacterial Pneumonia become much greater. Bacterial Pneumonia that was mentioned earlier...

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