Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs in which the air sacs get inflamed. The air sacs get filled with fluid or pus which causes cough with phlegm. The patient gets fever, chills and difficulty in breathing. Pneumonia is caused by bacteria, virus or fungi and treated by a lung specialist or pulmonologist. In most of the cases, pneumonia is mild but can become a serious illness requiring hospitalization in young children and older people.
People can get pneumonia after a bout of flu or cold and cough. This type of pneumonia is called Streptococcus pneumonia though there is vaccine against this type of pneumonia. Young children and older people who do not have a strong immune system due to their age are most vulnerable to pneumonia.
People who have to regularly frequent the hospitals for the treatment of some disease are more prone to hospital acquired pneumonia which is more dangerous than the other pneumonia. This type of pneumonia has higher antibiotic resistance. Smoker and people with co-morbidities are also more prone to acquiring pneumonia due to weakened immune system.
Pneumonia can result in several complications like the infection spreading into the other organs through the blood and causing multi organ failure. Fluid accumulation around the lungs and formation of abscess in the lungs are also common complications of the disease. Some patients who experience severe difficulty in breathing may have to be put on ventilator. Due to this reason the best way to treat pneumonia is under a good lung as well as critical care specialist. Covid-19 is caused by a virus which may also cause pneumonia resulting in a fall in oxygen saturation levels in the body. This has been the cause of deaths in most of the patients with Corona Virus in the last 2 years.
As per our pulmonologist and lung specialist in Gurgaon, Dr Kuldeep Kumar, "Pneumonia affects the lungs and can be easily diagnosed on a simple Chest X-Ray though some blood tests are done to find the type of organism causing the disease. But it is always advisable to consult a good lung or chest specialist so that the right and only required tests are done. Sputum test is also done to find the cause of the infection." In some cases when the patient is not responding to the antibiotics, the doctor may order a Chest CT Scan which gives much more detailed picture of the lungs as compared to an X-Ray. Some patients may require Culture and Sensitivity test of the pleural fluid taken from the lungs using a needle. This test needs a pulmonologist or a lung specialist in Gurgaon who is well versed in tests called bronchoscopy and pleural aspiration or tapping.
Most of the patients who have mild pneumonia can be treated with antibiotics, cough syrup, steam inhalation and gargles at home. Fever medicine to be given whenever there is fever beyond 100 degrees. With this the infection can be controlled within few days but the patient may feel body tiredness for a month or more. People above the age of 65 years should get hospitalized under a good pulmonologist and critical care specialist for proper treatment of pneumonia and best results especially if the oxygen saturation levels are below 94%. Such patients may also have to be hospitalized if the blood pressure is falling, they are disoriented, kidney function is deranged, breathing is fast, heart rate is slow or fast. Children below the age of 2 months should also be hospitalized if they are dehydrated, sleepy, low oxygen levels or have trouble in breathing.
Patients who do not need hospitalization must take lots of rest and sleep. Even if the symptoms have reduced, they should not rush into work as the infection might recur. Take plenty of fluids, eat healthy food like fruits, take steam for 5-6 minutes atleast 4-5 times in a day. If there is throat infection then do gargles with warm salty water atleast 4-5 times in a day.
Dr Kuldeep Kumar one of the best pulmonologist and critical care specialist in Gurgaon, is one of the most sought after doctor amongst the pneumonia patients specially the older people and young children. Most of the mild cases of pneumonia can be easily handled by the physicians for older people and pediatricians in young children. However if the patient is experiencing difficulty in breathing or the oxygen levels are falling despite giving the treatment then such patients should immediately consult a pulmonologist or a lung specilaist. Early consultation with pulmonologist can prevent hospitalization in many patients. Even if the patient has to be hospitalized then ICU or Ventilator can be prevented. The cost of diagnostic tests including CT Scan would be in the range of Rs. 8-10 thousand and the cost of medicines would be less than Rs. 1000. If the patient gets well by staying at home then the cost of treatment is pretty low. However if the patient needs hospitalization then the cost would be Rs. 7-8 thousand per day at CK Birla Hospital. If the patient has to be admitted in the ICU then the cost jumps to Rs. 20-25 thousand and if the patient goes on ventilator then the cost could be Rs. 35-40 thousand per day.
Dr Kuldeep Kumar is the Chief Pulmonologist and Incharge of ICU at CK Birla Hospital, Sector-51, Gurgaon. He can be consulted in the OPD for Pneumonia treatment. The consultation fee is Rs. 1000 and the timing for consultation is from 11 am - 3 pm. Dr. Kuldeep Kumar is also available for consultation at Miracles Mediclinic, Sector-14 from 5 pm - 6 pm in the evening for the patients who are still scared of going to big hospitsls.
We have developed the most advanced Pulmonology department at CK Birla Hospital which is fully equipped to take care of all kinds of Pulmonary conditions.
We have the most advanced Intensive Care Unit equipped with the latest Ventilators, Monitors and other Life Saving Equipments. Our services run round the clock so that we are there when you need us the most.
Dr Kuldeep Kumar
Chief Pulmonologist and Critical Care Specialist
CK Birla Hospital, Gurgaon
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