Pneumonia in bedridden patients has a number of features that aggravate the patient’s condition and complicate the diagnosis. An important factor in recovery is proper care, as well as timely detection of the disease, otherwise inflammation can lead to serious consequences.
Causes of stagnation
Bedridden patients are constantly immobilized, therefore, in the pulmonary circulation, blood stagnates over time, which passes through the lungs. When breathing, harmony between the movements of the chest on inhalation and exhalation is important, but when lying for a long time, the amplitude of lifting the chest is limited.
Breathing is a reflex controlled by a specific area of the brain. In a healthy person, the process looks like this:
- Due to the movement of the diaphragm and muscle contractions, the lungs and chest expand during inhalation. The alveoli are filled with air due to the negative pressure inside the chest.
- At the same time, the pulmonary artery is filled with fresh blood, which is enriched with oxygen from the alveoli. In this case, carbon dioxide is removed through the walls of the vessels. This is how gas exchange looks like, after which the exhalation process begins.
- The diaphragm relaxes, the pressure builds up in the chest, due to which air and blood are pushed out of the lungs. Also, foreign impurities are removed from the organ: allergens, dust and gas.
If the patient is constantly lying down, air does not come out of the lungs completely. Also, mucus is retained in the organ, which becomes a favorable environment for the development of pathogenic microorganisms.
An old person is more susceptible to the development of stagnation , since he often already has chronic diseases of the respiratory or cardiovascular systems. With a constant supine position and reduced immunity, pneumonia develops quite quickly.
The main signs of pneumonia in bedridden patients are:
- attacks of a suffocating cough;
- difficult sputum removal;
- pain in the area of inflammation;
- wheezing and whistling when inhaling or exhaling.
As a rule, the most pronounced symptom of pneumonia is shortness of breath. If the patient begins to experience breathing problems, this is a reason to call the doctor. If there are no other signs of pneumonia , the disease can be secretive.
The procedure for identifying the disease begins with a consultation with a therapist. He may suspect pneumonia by wheezing in the lower lungs. However, at this stage, he must draw up a complete clinical picture and give a referral for examination.
After this, the patient should be examined by a pulmonologist. Also, blood is taken from the patient for general analysis and sputum for bacterial culture. A mandatory procedure is a chest X-ray, which allows you to identify the localization of inflammation and assess its severity.
Old people should do an ultrasound of the heart with pneumonia in order to exclude the pathology of the main muscle of the body and prevent a stroke.
Therapy for pneumonia should be comprehensive in order to affect the focus of the disease in a variety of ways. It includes pharmacy and folk remedies, as well as physiotherapy as additional procedures.
When treating pneumonia, it is necessary to identify the pathogen and determine an effective antibiotic therapy. If the infection has a mixed etiology, the doctor prescribes broad-spectrum drugs. If there is no positive therapeutic dynamics, the course of therapy is adjusted and other pharmacological groups of antibiotics are prescribed. For SARS, Metronidazole and Erythromycin are used .
Often , antibiotics are given parenterally in older patients, that is, not in the form of tablets for oral use. Usually they are given injections so that the active substances quickly penetrate to the focus of infection in the lungs and do not cause negative reactions from the gastrointestinal tract.
Hospitalization is carried out with severe shortness of breath, high temperature and fever, confusion and high blood pressure.
To get rid of the symptoms of pneumonia, the patient is prescribed mucolytic and expectorant drugs in the form of tablets or syrups. Pain relievers and anesthetics help with severe pain .
First of all, the doctor prescribes inhalations. Their effectiveness lies in improving the excretion of sputum and ventilation of the lungs. Together with the steam, medicinal substances are delivered directly to the site of inflammation.
Warming up with a special apparatus or mustard plasters relieve the patient’s condition with pneumonia, but the procedure should be carried out only after the approval of the doctor.
Massage and cupping can also help relieve mucus and stimulate breathing.
Home treatments for pneumonia are used only as supportive therapy. As a rule, these are decoctions and infusions of medicinal herbs. Rosehip, chamomile, sage, mint and willow tea are a standard set of herbs for brewing tea for respiratory ailments.
A decoction of pine buds has antiseptic and thinning properties, so they are treated for various diseases of the respiratory tract. Honey with aloe and mustard also destroys bacteria and strengthens the immune system; the medicine can be used both as a remedy for internal use and as a compress on the chest. However, the patient needs to be tested for allergies to these products.
It is difficult to diagnose pneumonia in bedridden patients, so the disease is often fatal. In order not to start the disease, you need to regularly check the patient’s condition.
The prognosis depends on the severity of the inflammation and the person’s immunity . It is also likely that bacteria will develop resistance to antibiotics, which complicates treatment. For this reason, a full-fledged diagnosis is required before therapy, which will allow us to assess all the nuances of the pathology.
It is important to observe preventive measures against pneumonia, since bedridden patients have a high risk of developing the disease, and it is difficult to treat it.
The patient needs to change the position of the body every 2 hours. The air temperature should be optimal: not high and not low. The room should be regularly ventilated, but drafts should be avoided.
It is recommended to smear the area of the lungs with camphor alcohol and do vibration massage. Its essence is simple: a palm is placed on the back, after which gentle tapping with the fist of the other hand is made on it. Mustard plasters or cans can be done 2 times a week, and breathing exercises should become a daily procedure.
Caregivers should also take safety precautions because the infection that causes pneumonia can be contagious.
Consequences of the disease
At an advanced stage, pneumonia spreads to both lungs and becomes bilateral. In this case, shortness of breath and coughing increase, and purulent and bloody blotches are noted in the sputum. The body temperature rises, the patient feels severe weakness. Also, problems begin with the renal system and the gastrointestinal tract.
Increased body temperature
As the consequences of pneumonia, fibrosis of the lung tissue, bronchial asthma and an abscess of the paired organ are distinguished. Due to shallow breathing, the body’s systems begin to malfunction, as the cells do not receive enough oxygen.
Pneumonia can go unnoticed until complications develop. In order to prevent the development of the disease, preventive measures should be taken and a doctor should be regularly called for examination. It is also necessary to follow the recommendations of a specialist and not engage in treatment on your own.