Why does your baby get pneumonia again and again?

The condition of children with recurrent pneumonia probably makes many parents worry. Because if not treated in time, it can lead to many dangerous complications. Therefore, in the following article, we analyze this issue so that we can better understand and promptly have the best health care knowledge for children.

Learn about recurrent pneumonia in children

First, talking about pneumonia in children with repeated recurrences, we need to understand pneumonia as well as its symptoms.

What is pneumonia?

This is a lung infection that causes the air sacs to become inflamed and blocked. Pneumonia often begins after a child has a cold, flu, or respiratory infection. For healthy children, most pneumonia will be cured after 2 to 3 weeks of treatment. But if the child is immunocompromised, pneumonia is considered a very serious disease.

So, if you have recurrent pneumonia, it is determined twice a year. Or 3 times of pneumonia at a stage in which there are no symptoms on X-ray between each illness. Then this is assessed as recurrent pneumonia.


Symptoms of pneumonia depend on factors

What are the symptoms of pneumonia in children?

Symptoms vary from child to child and depend on age, overall health, cause of infection, type of pneumonia, and location of inflammation. For example, if a child has pneumonia that is caused by bacteria, severe symptoms appear quickly. But if it's a virus, symptoms develop gradually.

Mild pneumonia symptoms will usually begin as: chills, fever, cough, fatigue, vomiting or nausea ...

So what complications does repeated pneumonia cause?

For children under 2 years old, when the immune system is weak and have a chronic disease or asthma, it is easy to get severe pneumonia or repeat it many times. And dangerous complications that can occur in children are:

Shortness of breath: Because pneumonia occurs in children with chronic lungs such as asthma, it makes it difficult for children to breathe, unable to receive enough oxygen.

Pleural effusion: Simply because pneumonia causes more fluid to accumulate inside the pleural space. It is possible that this fluid is infected and needs to be handled surgically or through a chest tube.

Blood infection: It is bacteria from the lungs that enters the bloodstream and it infects other organs of the body.

Lung Abscess: If pus forms inside the lung cavity, this condition causes a lung abscess, so it is necessary to use antibiotics to treat or use suction to drain the pus.


Recurrent pneumonia causes many complications

What causes recurrent pneumonia?

The repeated episodes of pneumonia in children are caused by the underlying disease itself. And this is considered the foundation that makes the disease even more difficult to treat definitively. 9 typical causes of recurrent pneumonia are:

  • Due to meconium aspiration syndrome.
  • Due to abnormal lung structure or lung malformation.
  • Due to a weakened immune system or an immune system disorder.
  • Due to a congenital heart defect.
  • Due to sickle cell anemia.
  • Due to asthma.
  • Due to excess production of tracheobronchial secretions due to asthma.
  • Due to bronchiectasis due to cystic fibrosis, dyskinesia in the main biliary tract, immunocompromised or foreign body in the bronchi, lung disease.
  • Due to gastroesophageal reflux but not completely cured.

Diagnostic test for recurrent pneumonia in children

Similar to when a child has pneumonia, when this condition recurs many times, the doctor will recommend the following tests:

  • Chest X-ray: The purpose is to help identify any abnormality in the lungs or bronchi or fluid accumulation in the pleural space.
  • Blood test: A method to help find an infection or even determine the cause of pneumonia.
  • Sputum test: Through the sputum sample, the doctor analyzes to find the cause of recurrent pneumonia.
  • Blood oxygen measurement: This test is done to help find out if the baby is getting enough oxygen to breathe.


Early testing and treatment of recurrent pneumonia

How to treat recurrent pneumonia in children?

Depending on the cause of the disease, the degree of infection as well as the age of the child, there will be different treatments such as:

  • Antibiotics: Usually treat infections and treat pneumonia caused by bacteria.
  • Take over-the-counter medications: such as ibuprofen (Advil) and acetaminophen (Tylenol) to reduce fever.
  • Hospitalization: If the child has symptoms of shortness of breath, rapid breathing, dehydration, and hypothermia, especially in children under 2 years of age.

It can be affirmed that parents need to pay special attention to recurrent pneumonia. In order to have a timely care and treatment plan for the child so as not to be dangerously affected in the future.

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