Inflammation of the lungs is a dangerous disease in which lung tissue is affected. It is triggered by infection or bacteria and occurs in both adults and infants.
Pneumonia in infants can manifest itself without fever, so you need to see a doctor at the first signs of illness. Only a doctor will be able to determine the stage of the disease and prescribe the correct treatment.
The reasons for the development of the disease
The immune system of a newborn is not fully formed and is not always able to withstand serious illnesses. Babies are often susceptible to acute respiratory infections and acute respiratory viral infections due to their physiological characteristics (narrow pharynx and nasal passages, soft cartilage, elongated larynx), which contribute to the development of respiratory diseases. The protective function of the body does not always have time to cope with the causes of diseases, which can lead to pneumonia.
Pneumonia can be triggered by:
- viruses (acute respiratory infections, acute respiratory viral infections, herpes, flu);
- bacteria (pneumococci, streptococci);
- microorganisms (candida fungus);
- viral or bacterial diseases, their incorrect treatment;
- weakened immunity due to the uncontrolled use of antibiotics.
The main bacterium of the disease (pneumococcus) has 23 varieties and causes a severe cough in the body, which interferes with breathing. The newborn does not have enough air, which harms the baby as a whole and even leads to death.
In an infant, due to a weak immune system, pneumonia manifests itself without fever, however, a prolonged frequent cough and a lack of oxygen should alert parents. Also, the child stops playing his favorite games, refuses to eat, becomes sleepy and lethargic.
The following signs should attract the attention of mom and dad:
- pallor of the skin, bright blush of the cheeks, blue discoloration of the nasolabial triangle, aggravated by coughing;
- white bloom on a dry tongue;
- heart palpitations and shortness of breath;
- nasal congestion;
- heavy breathing with extraneous sounds (whistling).
Sometimes there are problems with the stool of a newborn, vomiting appears. On examination, the chest is asymmetric, which is characteristic of unilateral pneumonia.
If such symptoms appear (not necessarily all), you should contact your pediatrician as soon as possible for timely treatment and prevention of worsening of the condition.
A home examination of a child does not accurately determine pneumonia. The lack of temperature complicates the diagnosis, since the symptoms are similar to colds.
At the appointment, the pediatrician listens to the lungs with a stethoscope for wheezing, examines the throat and nose, checks the heart rate, and measures the body temperature of the newborn. The baby’s skin and mucous membranes are also examined. Tapping the chest helps the doctor identify inflamed areas.
If the pediatrician has a suspicion of pneumonia, to confirm the diagnosis, he additionally prescribes:
- general and biochemical blood tests (allow you to diagnose the inflammatory process);
- general urine analysis;
- examination of smears to identify the causative agent of the disease and its nature (virus or bacteria);
- chest x-ray (the most informative method, reflecting the presence of the disease and the degree of infection of the lungs).
Inflammation of the lungs in infants is diagnosed quite often. If parents find symptoms of pneumonia in a baby without fever, you should immediately consult a doctor.
You should not independently prescribe medications and apply alternative methods before examining the newborn by a pediatrician. Such measures without establishing a diagnosis can be harmful.
First aid to an infant in identifying symptoms of pneumonia without fever before going to the doctor is to bed rest and drink plenty of warm water.
Strongly not recommended:
- give antibiotics (if the diagnosis is not confirmed, and there is no need for them, the baby’s immune system will be disrupted);
- use mustard plasters, banks and other heating methods;
- exclude walking and visiting public places.
After pneumonia is diagnosed, the doctor prescribes treatment. It is complicated by the limited list of drugs allowed at this age. Given this fact, the pediatrician prescribes medications that are acceptable for the baby and do not harm his body. They must eliminate unpleasant symptoms and pathogenic microflora.
If the disease is detected at an early stage, there is no need to worry. If the baby is stable, treatment will be carried out at home. In addition to medication, your doctor may recommend bed rest and warm drinks. To accelerate the discharge of sputum, inhalation and vibration massage are prescribed.
It is advisable to avoid hypothermia, maintain air humidity in the room at 40-60% and ventilate.
When pneumonia has become complicated, and the home treatment prescribed by the pediatrician does not help the child, it is necessary to go to the hospital under the inpatient supervision of doctors.
An ambulance is urgently needed if the baby has difficulty swallowing food or has difficulty breathing. At the hospital, specialists will prevent dehydration and ensure that medicines are delivered to the body through IVs. To make breathing easier, the child is given an oxygen mask.
Treatment should take into account the stage of pneumonia. The following medications are commonly used:
- mucolytics and bronchodilators . They are not often used for babies who cannot breathe as well as adults due to the physiological characteristics of the respiratory tract. The accumulation of snot and the accumulation of liquefied phlegm will obstruct breathing and lead to complications;
- antipyretics when the temperature rises.
With bacterial pneumonia, antibiotics are prescribed to the child. In the event of a viral disease, the body copes without them.
Self-help home treatment of a newborn can lead to serious complications of the disease. Therefore, therapy with folk remedies is used only in addition to medications and in agreement with the attending physician.
There are many home treatments for pneumonia in infants without fever during the recovery stage:
|Inhalation||Camomile tea||the inflammatory process decreases;sputum leaves;mucous membranes are moistened;puffiness subsides.|
|Propolis and honey|
|Compresses||Mustard plasters with garlic and goose fat||the airways are warmed;cough decreases;sputum leaves;breathing is easier.|
|Honey and dry mustard compress|
|Compress with essential oils|
|Breathing exercises||Laughter||the lungs are ventilated;sputum leaves.|
|Decoctions||Mother-and-stepmother leaves||sputum leaves;cough decreases.|
|Radish and honey|
For newborns, due to the immaturity of the gastrointestinal tract and possible allergic reactions, herbal decoctions and recipes that contain honey are not recommended. For older babies, they must be used with caution and only under medical supervision.
The primary preventive measures are associated with vaccination against pneumococcal infection, which is mandatory in accordance with the vaccination schedule of the Russian Federation and protects against diseases such as pneumonia, sepsis, otitis media and meningitis.
Other preventive measures for the disease include:
- careful planning and management of pregnancy (treatment of diseases in the early stages);
- maintaining a healthy lifestyle and fortified nutrition of the baby;
- breastfeeding a child in order to increase his immunity;
- exclusion of contact with infected people of both the expectant mother and the baby;
- hardening the child, daily massage and walks;
- prevention of hypothermia;
- observance of hygiene in the family and minimization of secondhand smoke (ventilation, maintaining optimal humidity in the rooms).
Complications of the disease
The danger of pneumonia without fever in infants is that the body does not fight the infection. In this case, it is problematic to recognize a disease in an infant. Treatment is delayed and complications are common.
Pneumonia over time becomes protracted and becomes chronic. Its further development leads to inflammation of the healthy tissues of the lung and pulmonary insufficiency. Cavities can form at the site of the lesion, contributing to the destruction of the organ. A child’s illness can develop into otitis media or meningitis.
Prolonged pneumonia without fever provokes pleurisy of the lungs, sepsis and even heart damage. At the slightest suspicion, a doctor’s consultation and hospitalization according to indications are necessary. In this case, the baby will be provided with constant monitoring and the necessary medical assistance.
Pneumonia is a disease that can be easily treated if diagnosed early. In an infant, the disease often proceeds without fever, therefore, at the first signs of pneumonia, it is necessary to visit a pediatrician to identify the cause, determine the stage of the disease and prescribe therapy. Prompt measures will reduce the likelihood of complications and will speed up the healing process.