FROM OUR EXPERTS
Pneumonia, often called bronchopneumonia or bronchial pneumonia, can be a serious, even life-threatening, complication of COPD. When you have a chronic disease, your immune system is already compromised, making it harder to fight infections. Add to that the weakened airways and lung tissue that is part of COPD, and it is obvious how much of a threat a respiratory infection like pneumonia can be to someone who has COPD.
What Is Pneumonia?
Pneumonia is a respiratory infection that leads to inflammation and swelling in the bronchial tubes, known as bronchioles, and also tiny cells or airsacs at the end of the airways, called alveoli. Because COPD already causes similar issues, pneumonia results in an acute exacerbation of COPD.
What does that mean? Well, it means that there is an acute deterioration of respiratory symptoms. In particular, there will be increased breathlessness and cough, and an increase in the amount of sputum, as well as a change in the quality of t...
Symptoms The symptoms are generally mild and appear over a period of 1 to 3 weeks. They may become more severe in some people. Common symptoms include the following: Chest pain Chills Cough , usually dry and not bloody Excessive sweating Fever (may be high) Headache Sore throat Less common symptoms include: Ear pain Eye pain or soreness Muscle aches and joint stiffness Neck lump Rapid breathing Skin lesions or rash Signs and tests Persons with suspected pneumonia should have a complete medical evaluation, including a thorough physical exam and a chest x-ray -- especially because the physical exam may not always be able to tell pneumonia apart from acute bronchitis or other respiratory infections. Depending on the severity of illness, other tests may be done, including: Complete blood count (CBC) Blood cultures Blood tests for antibodies to mycoplasma Bronchoscopy CT scan of the chest Open lung biopsy (only done in very serious illnesses when the diagnosis cannot be made from other sources) Sputum culture to che...
One of the major risks of having spine surgery is the development of an infection. Discitis is an uncommon infection of the spinal disc that can occur after spinal surgery. Because of its rarity, discitis is often not on the minds of doctors. In this world of rushed, inattentive doctors, a person with an infection of the spine can be dismissed as a "common back pain" case when in fact discitis is the culprit.
A 58 year old woman who had years of lumbar pain came to me one and a half years following a complicated lumbar fusion; the surgery was complicated by the fact that the surgeon had to operate twice in order to get the hardware placed correctly. Unfortunately, the surgery did not cure her pain; and she came to me for pain management.
Two months into her treatment with me, she had a severe episode of low back pain after shoveling snow. She went to her primary doctor with not only complaints of worsening back pain, but she also had a fever and an upset stomach. That ...
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