The Mayo Clinic defines pneumonia as the inflammation of the air sacs in one or both lungs as a result of infection. Physiopedia categorizes the progression of pneumonia infections into four distinct stages: consolidation, red hepatization, gray hepatization and resolution.Know More
The consolidation stage occurs within the first 24 hours of contracting the infection. Physiopedia explains that this stage is characterized by fluid displacing some of the air in the lungs and swelling of the pleurae. These conditions lead to coughing and difficulty breathing.
Physiopedia places red hepatization two to three days after the consolidation stage on the pneumonia timeline. Small blood vessels surrounding the air sacs in the lungs engorge with blood that leaks into the air sacs. This stage derives its name from the liver-like appearance of the blood-engorged lungs. Gray hepatization occurs up to three days after red hepatization and is named for the gray-brown color of the lungs, caused by the breakdown of the accumulated red blood cells.
The final stage is referred to as resolution. The lung's structures start to restore themselves once the body's immune defenses begin to fight the infection. Physiopedia explains that during the last stages, the patient may cough discolored or bloody mucus, known as sputum, as a mechanism to clear the lungs and allow re-aeration of air sacs.Learn more about Cold & Flu
Southern Cross Healthcare Group explains that mild-to-moderate cases of pneumonia are most commonly treated with a mixture of rest, antibiotic treatment, medications to reduce fever symptoms and pain relievers. In more advanced cases, patients with pneumonia must be hospitalized and receive intravenous antibiotic treatment, oxygen therapy, intravenous fluids and physiotherapy.Full Answer >
WebMD notes that the pneumococcal vaccinations for adults are only indicated for a select population of adults and a repeated dose of the vaccine is recommended for even fewer adults. In the case that more than one dose of each vaccine is indicated, the time between doses is five years.Full Answer >
Getting a yearly flu shot, practicing solid hygiene, quitting smoking and remaining fit are four ways to avoid pneumonia, states Mayo Clinic. Pneumonia vaccinations for senior citizens and children younger than 5 provide another line of defense for especially vulnerable people.Full Answer >
Pneumonia vaccines help prevent a type of pneumonia caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, a bacterium that causes pneumonia and other illnesses that doctors refer to as pneumococcal disease. People with weakened immune systems, the elderly and children are more susceptible to the bacteria, according to WebMD.Full Answer >