Chest x ray
Chest x-ray is a regular diagnostic test that throws light on the condition of the lungs, heart and chest wall. Chest x-ray reveals possible lung cancer, emphysema, heart failure and pneumonia. Heart irregularities and CHF may be visible on a chest X ray. Any pleural effusions may be detected through a chest x-ray. The patient must wear loose fitting gown and remove any metal objects from clothing. In most cases, chest x-ray of frontal or posteroanterior view is taken. The patient has to take a deep breath so as to ensure a good quality chest x-ray image. There is no discomfort. Pregnant women must not undergo chest x-ray. But some conditions may not be easily diagnosed with a chest Xray, such as pulmonary embolism or some cancers. In such cases, CT scan of chest is used for further clarification. Abnormal findings on chest X-rays can range from pneumonia and tuberculosis to lung tumor or collapsed lung. Osteoporosis or fracture of ribs or spine can be detected.
In most cases, pneumonia is noticed after an upper respiratory illness. When there is infection in the lung tissue, pneumonia occurs. This disease can be caused by either virus, bacteria, fungi or parasites. Pneumonia caused by virus appears gradually and may not be as severe as when caused by bacteria. The streptococcus bacteria, known as pneumococcus, is the main cause of pneumonia. adenoviruses, rhinovirus, influenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and para-influenza virus are among the viruses that can cause pneumonia. Weak and elderly people are more at risk for contracting pneumonia. Persons with weakened immune systems or have had their spleen removed are more susceptible for pneumonia.
The disease is contagious and spreads through touching used handkerchiefs and sharing utensils. Symptoms of pneumonia include fever, cough and chest pain. There is labored breathing and abdominal pain. Wheezing is noticed in cases of viral pneumonia. A patient suffering from pneumonia may develop bluish or grayish pallor on the lips and fingertips. A case of bacterial pneumonia can take about a fortnight to recover while viral pneumonia takes longer. Pneumonia can be mild or life threatening.
Pneumonia is detected during a physical examination. Chest Xray and CT scan can help confirm the presence of pneumonia and throw light on the extent and location of the infection. Blood tests and phlegm sample can detect presence of virus or bacteria. Bronchoscopy allows a doctor to examine the patient's breathing passages. Antibiotics such as penicillin, amoxicillin and clavulanic acid are prescribed to treat pneumonia. Macrolide antibiotics such as erythromycin, azithromycin and clarithromycin are prescribed to those suffering from pneumonia. Vaccines against Haemophilus influenzae and pertussis are part of the routine immunization schedule for children.
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Bibliography / Reference
Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: December 5, 2023