Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Death by choking on food: A new review of coronial findings

Researchers have recently examined coroner reports of deaths in residential care where choking or aspiration pneumonia was a factor in the person's death. In every case examined, the coroner considered the death was preventable. ...

Medications

Childhood pneumonia antibiotics can be given for just three days

There is no internationally agreed standard treatment for children discharged from hospital with pneumonia. St George's researchers recently found that shorter courses of lower-dose antibiotics are just as effective as higher ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

New guidance released for preventing hospital-acquired pneumonia

In the second in series of updates on guidance for infection control in acute-care hospitals, five medical organizations are recommending best practices for preventing hospital-associated pneumonia. Pneumonia is the most ...

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Pneumonia

Pneumonia is an inflammatory illness of the lung. Frequently, it is described as lung parenchyma/alveolar inflammation and abnormal alveolar filling with fluid (consolidation and exudation).

The alveoli are microscopic air-filled sacs in the lungs responsible for absorbing oxygen. Pneumonia can result from a variety of causes, including infection with bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites, and chemical or physical injury to the lungs. Its cause may also be officially described as idiopathic—that is, unknown—when infectious causes have been excluded.

Typical symptoms associated with pneumonia include cough, chest pain, fever, and difficulty in breathing. Diagnostic tools include x-rays and examination of the sputum. Treatment depends on the cause of pneumonia; bacterial pneumonia is treated with antibiotics.

Pneumonia is a common illness which occurs in all age groups, and is a leading cause of death among the elderly and people who are chronically and terminally ill. Additionally, it is the leading cause of death in children under five years old worldwide. Vaccines to prevent certain types of pneumonia are available. The prognosis depends on the type of pneumonia, the appropriate treatment, any complications, and the person's underlying health.

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