Pneumococcal vaccination, a failure?

Inspite of getting pneumococcal vaccination, your child may get infected with Pneumonia. Pneumococcal vaccinations may not always prevent pneumonia caused by other agents.

The child will have mild cough and temperature but overnight will increase to constant 103 C. Repeated sponging, medicines and mild antibiotics will not help. Chest x-ray will be taken to confirm the severity.

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The white patches called as consolidation is the liquid that fills the lung tissues instead of oxygen. The common symptoms include:

  • Continuous cough
  • High fever
  • Chills
  • Difficult breathing
  • Increase in heart rate
  • Decrease in oxygen saturation

The child refuses to intake food and water due to sore throat. When the antibiotics are not strong enough, the lung condition will worsen thereby putting your child bed ridden with less energy. The child will need to be in Intensive Care Unit to monitor the BP, pulse rate and O2 saturation. Pneumonia may affect one or both the lungs. When the lungs are filled with fluids, it loses its capacity to breathe well.

The doctors don’t wait for the sputum/blood tests but immediately start the next level antibiotics once in 12 or 6 hrs. Ventilator is much advised for O2 supply that reduces the patient’s strain on breathing thus maintaining oxygen saturation level. If there is accumulation of fluid outside the lungs called Pleural fluid that restricts the lungs to expand while breathing, the doctors may perform a procedure to drain some liquid and send for tests. If they find puss, tube will be inserted to drain it. It requires minimum 2-3 weeks to recover from pneumonia.

See also Pneumonia after Chemotherapy

Kavitha Patchamalai