Pneumonia in a child (part 1)
If the frequency of the disease threatening the infant is distributed, then pneumonia is one of the first places – pneumonia. This is an infectious disease of a bacterial or bacterial – viral nature, and any microorganisms, including even conditionally pathogenic ones, can cause it. And contact with them is almost inevitable for the child, and the whole question is whether his defenses will be sufficient to resist.
The condition of the child is closely related to the state of the mother, the course of pregnancy. If the mother suffers from some kind of inflammatory disease, the fetus comes into contact with the infection already in utero. This happens when he advances through the birth canal. Finally, the child was born, and the external environment, as a rule, is not free from germs. Microorganisms immediately populate the skin, umbilical wound, mucous membranes of the newborn. Propagating, they have an adverse effect on the body; in response, a protective reaction occurs. If it is expressed enough, that’s it. But if the child is weakened, the first encounter with microbes becomes a prologue to further, often formidable events.
Numerous studies have shown that the likelihood of developing pneumonia is higher in those newborns whose mothers suffered an infectious disease during pregnancy, suffer from rheumatism, chronic tonsillitis, pyelonephritis.The risk group includes children born with low body weight, premature infants, who have had intracranial hemorrhage, and especially those who could not immediately breathe on their own and was in hardware breathing for some time.
But why does the inflammatory process develop precisely in the lungs? The fact is that the lung tissue is formed gradually, and by the time of birth it is still imperfect. Only with the first scream, the baby’s lungs are actively straightened, fluid is removed from the respiratory tract, and spontaneous breathing begins. Through the thinnest membranes of the pulmonary alveoli, oxygen penetrates the blood and is delivered by its current to all tissues and cells;
But in a weakened child, lung formation is usually delayed; they have less alveoli in their tissue, and this weakens the gas exchange between the air and blood. Besides. the lungs of such a child are not completely straightened in the first days of life. This in itself predisposes to pneumonia. And if you take into account the upcoming slowdown in blood flow, deterioration of cardiovascular activity, oxygen starvation of tissues, it becomes clear how great the risk of the disease. Against such a background, the last impetus for its development gives any adverse effect, for example, contact with another child or adult with a respiratory infection, as well as hypothermia, overheating, violation of hygiene.
It is very important what kind of feeding the child receives. Mother’s milk contains a complex of biologically active substances that protect against infection, therefore, for a baby breastfed, the risk of disease is less, and for those who are on mixed and especially artificial feeding, it is greater.
INITIAL SIGNS OF THE DISEASE
Inflammation of the lungs, as a rule, develops gradually: the baby becomes lethargic, sucks worse, falls asleep during feeding, and worries and cries during the hours when he is supposed to sleep. This alone should alert parents. It is necessary to call a doctor.
The first examination often still does not make it possible to establish pneumonia, it can only be suspected, and, therefore, it is impossible to weaken the attention to the child. It is necessary three times a day – in the morning, afternoon and evening – to measure his temperature and, without relying on his memory, to record. That the child does not slip away from the parent’s eye, the skin around the nose and mouth acquires a bluish tint, breathing is quickened, sometimes interrupted or it becomes moaning.
Pneumonia often develops as a complication of acute respiratory viral infections: a child is concerned about cough, runny nose, conjunctivitis. At the same time, regurgitation may appear, the stool becomes fluid and frequent. The fact that the temperature sometimes remains normal or rises slightly should not be reassuring: it is necessary to call a doctor again. And if the condition of the child worsens and convulsions appear all the more, help to the child should be provided immediately.
It is impossible to adhere to expectant tactics in such cases, for example, to leave a child without treatment until the morning. In young children, and especially in newborns, the condition can worsen with catastrophic speed, within a few hours and even minutes. The faster intoxication and respiratory distress build up, the more difficult it will be to treat a child, the greater the threat of an unsuccessful outcome.