Pneumonia in Children

What is Pneumonia in children?

Pneumonia is a disease that can be caused by beta-hemolytic streptococcus, and that occurs as bronchopneumonia or interstitial pneumonia as a complication of ARVI or other infectious diseases. This pneumonia is more susceptible to other children from 2 to 7 years.

Children of preschool and school age become ill with streptococcal pneumonia in cases of hypothermia, with reduced immunity (for various reasons), in many cases after having suffered from an acute respiratory illness. If a pregnant woman is ill, she risks infecting the fetus through the placenta or during birth, as well as after birth by contacting the newborn with the mother.

Causes of Pneumonia in Children

Streptococcus is a genus of bacteria of spherical or oval shape, with a diameter of 0.5 to 1.0 microns. Streptococci can be located separately or form chains of different lengths. These bacteria can live in animals, as well as in the human respiratory tract, especially “love” they nasal mucosa.

Hemolytic streptococci of group A have increased resistance to various physical and chemical influences. Some species are able to survive when heated to 70 ° C, staying in a humid environment for 1 hour, and at ambient temperatures up to +65 ° C they can last up to 2 hours. Streptococci react normally to freezing. In the blood or dried pus can “live” for several weeks or even months. But under the influence of disinfectant solutions Streptococcus group A quickly “die”.

Streptococci do not form a spore, can not move. They are grown on meat-peptone nutrient media. This means that they can multiply in the usual refrigerator in soups left for a few days. Do not leave pans with cooked dishes open. Before use, the contents of the pan need to bring to a boil.

Pathogenesis during Pneumonia in children

In the morphological picture, small foci with areas of necrosis are noted. Further, areas of inflammation increase, can merge and capture whole lobes of the lung. The pleura is often involved in the pathological process, which leads to the development of pleurisy and empitema.

Under pleurisy means inflammation of the pleura, the serous membrane, which envelops the human lungs. Pleurisy can be chronic or acute, severe or moderate. Also, pleurisy can develop on one part or on the sides of the chest.

Symptoms of Pneumonia in children

The onset of the disease is turbulent, the symptoms of intoxication are pronounced, the patient is in a fever and shivering. The temperature reaches 39-40 ˚С. Symptoms such as a wet cough (with phlegm) and chest pain appear. Percussion changes are not characteristic, wheezing changeable. If pleurisy occurs, physicians detect changes in percussion sound and weakened breathing on the affected side while listening.

X-ray examination shows interstitial changes with multiple rounded foci in different phases of resorption. In some cases, massive infiltration is seen in the image. When streptococcal pneumonia increases the lymph nodes of the root of the lung (in most cases). A blood test shows neutrophilic leukocytosis with a left shift, increased ESR.

Diagnosis of Pneumonia in children

For the diagnosis of streptococcal pneumonia, a set of laboratory and clinical radiological data is necessary.

Pneumonia is characterized by the following anamnesis:

  • the disease begins after such diseases (or with them): measles, flu, whooping cough, pharyngitis, chicken pox, scarlet fever;
  • the disease begins acutely;
  • exudative pleurisy appears in the early stages of the disease;
  • chains of gram-positive cocci are detected in sputum smears;
  • titers of antistreptolysin in the blood of a sick child grow.

Treatment of Pneumonia in children

Streptococcal pneumonia is treated with penicillin or its semi-syntactic derivatives. For treatment, a dose of 100-200 mg per 1 kg of a child’s body per day is required, divided into 2 doses. The drug is administered by intramuscular injection. Doctors may also prescribe other antibiotics (protected penicillins, cephalosporins). The course of antibiotics usually lasts 7-10 days.

For the treatment of sterptococcal pneumonia in children, physiotherapy, vitamin intake, and in severe cases, blood transfusion are also used. A sick child should be in a comfortable temperature environment, not overheating and not overcooling. The room in which the treatment is carried out, must often be ventilated.

It should be given as much tea and water as possible to the child. Also, to increase immunity, vitamins are given (as prescribed by a doctor). To eliminate cardiovascular insufficiency, administration of glucose, blood plasma transfusion, and administration of potassium preparations are used.

Mustard and hot wraps are recommended. The doctor may prescribe physiotherapy, which is the effect of microwaves and current. If there are pathological changes in the lungs, doctors prescribe immunoglobulins. The course of the disease is directly proportional to how quickly the foci of inflammation are cleared of pus.

A child who has had streptococcal pneumonia should be monitored by the attending physician for a year after recovery.

Prevention of Pneumonia in children

Streptococci can be transmitted by airborne droplets and by contact, as well as through food. Less common transmission routes are through everyday objects. It is most likely to be infected when a sick person sneezes nearby, coughs as well as when kissing with him. In closed groups, such as kindergartens, schools, nurseries, the infection is spreading rapidly. Because patients and carriers should be as soon as possible identified and isolated from the team.

Methods for preventing streptococcal pneumonia are primary and secondary. The primary ones are to maintain the protective functions of the body, eliminating the factors that weaken it. It is necessary to observe the daily regimen, eat rationally, do not forget about physical activity. It is useful to temper the child, to conduct prevention of acute respiratory infections Pregnant women should be wary of infectious diseases.

Secondary methods are to avoid repeated diseases. Children who have had a disease should be healed. Ill children must be treated until complete recovery. Repeated pneumonia usually becomes chronic. As a preventive measure of pneumonia in children, therapeutic exercises and physiotherapy are recommended.

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