Breathe Easy: Pneumonia Insights

by Dr. Sunil Kumar K

In today's discussion, Dr. Sunil Kumar K, Lead and Senior Consultant - Interventional Pulmonology at Aster CMI Hospital, sheds light on the intricate topic of pneumonia. Defined as inflammation of the lung affecting small airways and air sacs, pneumonia disrupts the normal functioning of the lungs, where oxygenation diffusion is hampered due to the hypersecretion of mucus and fluid.

With a staggering global burden of over 450 million cases and 4 million deaths annually, pneumonia is a leading cause of mortality, particularly in ICU settings. World Pneumonia Day, celebrated annually on November 12, serves as a platform to raise awareness, promote preventive measures, and formulate action plans against pneumonia.

Delving into the causes, Dr. Sunil Kumar K highlights bacterial, viral, fungal, and parasitic origins, emphasizing the heightened significance in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The classification encompasses typical and atypical pneumonia, with Streptococcus pneumonia identified as a predominant cause in community-acquired cases.

Symptoms, severity, and the necessity for hospitalization are determined by factors such as age, comorbidities, and key parameters like oxygenation. Scoring systems like CURB 65 and Pneumonia Severity Index aid in decision-making, ensuring appropriate care settings for patients.

Dr. Sunil Kumar K emphasizes the importance of early diagnosis through diagnostic molecular tests, allowing timely initiation of targeted antibiotic therapy. The discussion extends to preventive measures, urging the public to wear masks, practice social distancing, and maintain a clean environment. Monitoring symptoms and utilizing tools like pulse oximeters at home provide additional safeguards.

Aster CMI Hospital's Pulmonology Department stands ready to offer comprehensive information and care for those seeking guidance on pneumonia.