Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that can be serious in older adults . In the U.S., nearly 250,000 people are hospitalized with pneumonia each year, and about 50,000 die from the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Seniors are at high risk for complications and death.
While an individual that develops pneumonia typically needs seven to 10 days to recover, the time for a senior with pneumonia may be much longer if at all. There is a high rate of mortality with pneumonia in the elderly. As much as 30 percent of individuals that are treated in a hospital for pneumonia die from it.
Pneumonia in the elderly happens fast and the prognosis is poor, and elderly are susceptible to severe Pneumonia . The mortality rate for severe pneumonia is as high as 20% . The principal cause of the death is respiratory insufficiency .
Most people do eventually recover from pneumonia. However, the 30-day mortality rate is 5 to 10 percent of hospitalized patients. It can be up to 30 percent in those admitted to intensive care.
The most common physical symptoms in the final stages are: feeling more severely out of breath . reducing lung function making breathing harder. having frequent flare-ups. finding it difficult to maintain a healthy body weight. feeling more anxious and depressed.
How to Treat Pneumonia in Seniors Rest. Your body is able to fight off germs when you get adequate sleep. Hydration. Keeping your body well hydrated can prevent the build-up of mucus in the lungs. Follow doctor’s orders. A doctor may prescribe antibiotics if the pneumonia is caused by bacteria.
Risks of dying from pneumonia . Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that can be fatal. It causes the air sacs in the lungs to become inflamed and to fill with pus and fluid. Different types of pneumonia affect its seriousness.
Whether the disease is viral or bacterial, pneumonia is treated with rest, nutritious food, and lots of fluids, as well as medication to treat bothersome symptoms like a fever or pain. Viral pneumonia may also be treated with antiviral medications. Bacterial pneumonia is always treated with antibiotics.
There are four stages of pneumonia , which are consolidation, red hepatization, grey hepatization and resolution.
Contagious illness is a common cause of pneumonia in seniors , and the flu isn’t the only one that’s of concern. Even a common cold can cause pneumonia in a vulnerable senior. Essentially, any underlying issue that affects the lungs can bring about an infection that causes inflammation or fluid buildup in the lungs.
Symptoms Chest pain when you breathe or cough . Confusion or changes in mental awareness (in adults age 65 and older) Cough , which may produce phlegm. Fatigue . Fever, sweating and shaking chills. Lower than normal body temperature (in adults older than age 65 and people with weak immune systems) Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.
It can take about six weeks to fully recover from walking pneumonia. However, most people recover from pneumonia in about a week. Bacterial pneumonia usually starts to improve shortly after starting antibiotics, while viral pneumonia usually starts to improve after about three days.
Rapid, shallow breathing. Sharp or stabbing chest pain that gets worse when you breathe deeply or cough. Loss of appetite, low energy, and fatigue.
Pneumonia is classified as severe when the heart, the kidneys or the circulatory system are at risk of failing, or if the lungs can no longer take in enough oxygen.
However, if left untreated , pneumonia can lead to serious complications, including an increased risk of re-infection, and possible permanent damage to your lungs. One complication from bacterial pneumonia is the infection can enter your blood stream and infect other systems in your body.