Pneumonia in a child
If you distribute diseases that threaten a baby in frequency, then pneumonia, pneumonia, will be one of the first places. This is an infectious disease of a bacterial or bacterial and viral nature, and any microorganisms, including even conditionally pathogenic, can cause it. And contact with them for the child is almost inevitable, 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 any inflammatory disease, the fetus comes into contact with the infection already in utero. This also happens when it moves along the birth canal. Finally, the child was born, and the external environment, as a rule, is not free from germs. Microorganisms immediately colonize the skin, umbilical wound, mucous membranes of the newborn. Multiplying, they have an adverse effect on the body; in response, a defensive reaction occurs. If it is expressed enough, that’s the end of it. But if the child is weakened, the first meeting with microbes becomes the prologue of further, often formidable events.
Numerous studies have shown that the likelihood of developing pneumonia is higher in those newborns whose mothers suffered infectious diseases during pregnancy, suffer from rheumatism, chronic tonsillitis, pyelonephritis. The risk group includes children born with low birth weight, premature, undergoing intracranial hemorrhage, and especially who could not immediately breathe on their own and spent some time on apparatus breathing.
But why does the inflammatory process develop 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 cry, the child’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 enters the blood and is delivered by its current to all tissues and cells;
But in a weakened child, the formation of the lungs is usually delayed; there are fewer alveoli in their tissue, and this weakens gas exchange between the air and blood. Besides. The lungs of such a child are not fully cracked in the first days of life. This in itself predisposes to pneumonia. And if we consider the upcoming slowdown in blood flow, deterioration of cardiovascular activity, oxygen starvation of tissues, it will become clear how high the risk of the disease is. Against this background, the last impetus to its development is any adverse effect, for example, contact with another child or an adult, a patient with a respiratory infection, as well as hypothermia, overheating, and a violation of hygienic regime.
It is very important what feeding the baby gets. Mother’s milk contains a complex of biologically active substances that protect against infection; therefore, for a breastfed infant, the risk of the 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 child becomes sluggish, sucks worse, falls asleep during feeding, and during the hours when he is supposed to sleep, worries, cries. This alone should alert the parents. We must call a doctor.
The first inspection often still does not give the opportunity to establish pneumonia, it can only be suspected, and, therefore, it is impossible to weaken attention to the child. It is necessary three times a day – in the morning, in the afternoon and in the Evening – to measure his temperature and, without relying on his memory, to record. The fact that the child turns pale, the skin around the nose and mouth acquires a bluish tint, breathing becomes more frequent, sometimes interrupted or becomes moaning should not slip away from the parent’s eye.
Pneumonia often develops as a complication of acute respiratory viral infections: a child is worried about cough, runny nose, conjunctivitis. At the same time, regurgitation may occur, the stool becomes liquid and frequent. The fact that the temperature sometimes remains normal or rises slightly does not have to be reassuring: you must call the doctor again. And if the child’s condition worsens and, moreover, convulsions appear, assistance to the child should be rendered immediately.
In such cases, one should not adhere to waiting tactics, for example, leaving the child untreated until morning. In young children, and especially in newborns, the condition may worsen with catastrophic speed, within a few hours and even minutes. The faster the intoxication and respiratory distress increase, the harder it will be to treat the child, the greater the threat of a dysfunctional outcome.
As soon as you notice that the child’s breathing has changed, first of all air the room; lift the head end of the crib, substituting something under her legs; relax your diaper – tight swaddling makes it difficult for the chest to breathe; using cotton wicks free nasal passages from mucus, this will also facilitate breathing.
If you are feeding a baby from a bottle, reduce each portion by one third, replacing the missing amount of the mixture with 5% glucose solution (it is sold at a pharmacy by prescription) or boiled water.
It is useful to make a mustard bath for the feet. Pour water into a small but deep basin or a large pot (temperature 38-39), dissolve about a dessert spoon of mustard in it, take the child in your arms and lower its legs to your knees for 5 minutes. Then quickly, so that your feet are not cool, wrap your baby in warm, dry diapers.
Mustard plasters for small children are placed with care, not forgetting that their skin is very tender. It is best to do this: put a piece of soft linen cloth or gauze moistened with warm water on the back of the child, mustard plaster on it, and on top of it a fairies diaper. Keep such a mustard plaster can be 5 – 10 minutes, controlling the degree of skin redness and behavior of the child. If the skin turns red and the child becomes restless, mustard plaster should be removed.
Medicines are prescribed by a doctor, and they must be used very carefully: it is not necessary to hope that pneumonia in a young child will pass by itself.
If the doctor offers to put the child in the hospital, do not refuse. It may be necessary for the baby to use such treatment methods or emergency measures that are not feasible at home. Sometimes hospitalization is necessary for examination and diagnosis, and this is also vital.
AFTER HOSPITAL EXTRACT
In the hospital, the child usually stays for a long time, sometimes up to 6 weeks, but even in this case, by the time of discharge, the body functions are not fully normalized.
For the final recovery, it is necessary to create a protective regime for the child: to walk with him, gradually increasing the time of walks, to follow the feeding schedule very clearly, making every effort to ensure that the child receives mother’s milk, carefully protect him from contact with infectious patients.
Good effect have a stroking massage, breathing exercises. The doctor will show the methodology, he will make other appointments if necessary. If the term of preventive vaccination has arrived, the doctor will decide how long it should be postponed.
It remains to say once again: an infant who has had pneumonia must be very carefully nursed. Only good care will consolidate the results of treatment, ensure the correct further development of the child, increase the protective forces and, therefore, prevent the development of recurrent pneumonia.