Different types of pneumonia affect its seriousness. The diagnosis and management of pneumonia is also likely to be more complicated in this patient group because of these factors. The prevalence of both disability and comorbid diseases increase with age and are associated with increased risk of pneumonia. Pneumonia is an increasingly common disease in the elderly due to an aging population. Pneumonia is a potential complication of the flu, so be sure to get your flu vaccine each year. Mckee CM. It can be very difficult to distinguish pulmonary embolus from pneumonia without imaging and investigations. In extreme cases, and especially in high-risk populations like the elderly, it can be fatal. Pneumonia is one of the leading causes of death among children, but it can also be fatal for elderly people. Haemoptysis is not a usual feature of pneumonia and its presence should always prompt consideration of lung cancer or tuberculosis (TB). Pneumonia is usually caused by infection with viruses or bacteria, and less commonly by other microorganisms. British Thoracic Society. Heart disease or dysrhythmia can cause acute dysnoea and cough. Visit our Cookie Policy and our Privacy Policy for more information about managing your cookies. Hospital study of community-acquired pneumonia. The most common symptom of pneumonia is a cough that produces phlegm. Confusion or drowsiness may be the only symptom or sign. The impairment in cough reflex may lead to fatal complication like aspiration pneumonia. Pneumonia is one of the leading causes of death among children, but it can also be fatal for elderly people. This type … A sample of fluid from your lungs (sputum) is taken after a deep cough and analyzed to help pinpoint the cause of the infection. Pneumonia is a severe inflammation of the lungs. Older people have a higher risk of getting pneumonia and are more likely to die from it if they do. Pneumonia can be mild, and people with good health can recover within 1 to 3 weeks. When left untreated, pneumonia is deadly; it’s considered by the medical community to be as serious as a heart attack. Conflict of interest: Dr Crockett has received honoraria for lecture fees and received expenses for hospitality and travel costs to international conferences, and has participated in research sponsored by various companies. H.influenzea, as a cause of pneumonia, is more common in older patients; mycoplasmae pneumoniae is more common cause of infection in younger patients.4. Community-Acquired Pneumonia Individuals older than 75 years are 50 times more likely to acquire community- acquired pneumonia than younger adults and are significantly more likely to die as a result. Seniors age 65 and older are at increased risk for developing pneumonia. Pneumonia can be fatal. Pneumonia is classified according to the types of germs that cause it and where you got the infection. Pneumonia is a serious complication of the new coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. Pneumonia is a severe lung infection. The severity of the condition is variable. This patient group are also likely to be more vulnerable to pneumonia because they tend to be less mobile and well nourished than their younger counterparts. It occurs outside of hospitals or other health care facilities. ... but in some patients this reaction becomes too strong and can itself be fatal. Other signs/symptoms include: There may also be signs of a pleural effusion, which may occur as a complication in up to 40% of cases (especially in lobar pneumonia).6 Older patients may present with only minimal symptoms, such as mild confusion or fever, and both respiratory and non respiratory symptoms are less commonly reported by elderly patients. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of homecare families can trust. Pneumonia in elderly is often cited as the fifth leading cause of death in the elderly and the most common cause of death in persons with severe dementia. Hourly Care A score of three to four suggests admission is probably needed.10, If a decision has been made, with the patient and their carers or family when appropriate, to manage the patient at home, treatment is usually is antibiotics. The most common cause of bacterial pneumonia in the U.S. is Streptococcus pneumoniae. They begin by understanding the health status of the elderly person who is afflicted with pneumonia. The system is an assessment of the following: Score each criterion 0 for not present or one for present. This is a comprehensive literature review outlining the severity assessment, morbidity, mortality, prevention and treatment options. As much as 30 percent of individuals that are treated in a hospital for pneumonia die from it. However, antibiotics alone don’t always cure viral infections, which is why seniors must stay hydrated and drink plenty of fluids to flush the bacteria out of their bodies. Parapneumonic Effusions. However, there are a multitude of other types of pneumonia. Guidelines for the Management of Community Acquired Pneumonia in Adults. Pneumonia Is a Severe Complication of COVID-19. Patients in residential or nursing homes should be diagnosed and managed as those in their own homes, as the causative pathogens are likely to be the same.8. Maybe: Most of the time it is not, but severe pneumonia can be fatal especially in those with underlying diseases that impair the immune system, the heart or the lungs. Pneumococcal pneumonia is a serious cause of morbidity and mortality in the elderly, but investigation of the etiological agent of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is not possible in most hospitalized patients. Am J Med 1980;69: 507-512, 7. Need Help Caring for a Loved One? There is a high rate of mortality with pneumonia in the elderly. Family caregivers need to help their senior loved ones maintain strong health and protect them against dangerous bacteria and viruses. If managing a patient at home, a follow-up visit 48 hours later is recommended.