Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs caused by several kinds of germs, such as bacteria, viruses, and molds.
The lungs main job is to get oxygen into the blood and remove carbon dioxide. Pneumonia causes swelling of the airways and causes air sacs in the lungs to fill with mucus and other fluids. This makes it difficult for oxygen to reach the blood.
Signs and symptoms of pneumonia include a cough, fever and chest pain. Other symptoms include rapid breathing, shortness of breath, chills and being more tired than normal. Those older than 65, smokers and those who have an illness such as COPD or diabetes are at a greater risk.
Black River Memorial Hospital Respiratory Director, Jackie Ellingson, stated, “With proper treatment, patients can get better quickly. Getting plenty of rest, drinking lots of fluids and taking medicine prescribed by your doctor really help.” She added, “Covering your cough and washing your hands can help prevent pneumonia as well as other illness.”
Black River Memorial Hospital has a free Better Breathers support group that meets every other month. Learning more about a condition can help improve the quality of life for those who struggle with lung disease.
Black River Memorial Hospital is celebrating Respiratory Care Week October 22 -28. For more information, call 715-284-1313 or visit, www.brmh.net/services/respiratory-care.