Pneumonia – Nurse’s Notes


What is Pneumonia by Nurse’s Notes

What Is Pneumonia?  

Pneumonia is an infection and inflammation of the lungs. 

Do I have pneumonia?

Common symptoms of pneumonia include one or more of the following: 

  • o   Fever and chills
  • o   Cough
  • o   Shortness of breath
  • o   Chest pain, especially when you take a breath
  • o   Coughing up mucus, sometimes blood stained
  • o   Muscle aches
  • o   Not all pneumonias cause a high fever. The only symptom may be several days or weeks of dry cough, often with extreme tiredness. In the case of older adults, the only sign of pneumonia may be confusion or a decrease in physical activity.

How did I get pneumonia?

Pneumonia occurs when the lungs are exposed to germs not usually present in the lungs. Your lungs may have become infected because:

  •   You were exposed to a large amount of a virus or bacteria.
  •  Your immune system is compromised because you were already ill, for example, with the flu.
  •  You have another illness, such as diabetes, chronic bronchitis, or cancer. A chronic illness can make it easier for you to get all kinds of infections. This is why so many older adults develop pneumonia.
  •  You breathed in (aspirated) stomach contents. Aspiration pneumonia occurs when gastrointestinal problems cause stomach contents to back up into the esophagus and trachea. From there, they are breathed into the lungs. The bacteria that normally live in the mouth can cause pneumonia if breathed into the lungs.
  •  You have recently had surgery, especially if you had general anesthesia.

What are ways to treat pneumonia?

  •           If you smoke, stop. If someone else in your household smokes, ask them to smoke out side.
  •           If you were given a prescription for antibiotics, be sure to get it filled right away. Follow the directions exactly. Take the medicine until it is completely gone. Do not stop taking it just because you feel better
  •           Rest until you no longer have a fever, chest pain, or shortness of breath.
  •           Coughing helps to clear the airways of mucus and will help relieve chest congestion and make it easier to breathe. Use cough medicine only if your provider recommends that you take it to help you get some rest.
  •           It is very important to breathe deeply several times an hour when you have pneumonia. If you do not breathe deeply, the lower parts of your lungs can collapse like an inner tube with a slow leak. When the lungs collapse, your pneumonia can get worse.
  •           Drink plenty of liquids.
  •           Acetaminophen (Tylenol®) or over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicine such as ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) or naproxen ( Aleve®, Naprosyn®) may help decrease your pain (avoid taking ibuprofen or naproxen if you have a history of bleeding in your stomach).
  •           Do not mix narcotic pain medications (such as Tylenol with codeine) with alcohol, driving, or participate in any other activities that you need to be clear-headed and alert for.
  •           Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and then throw it away in the nearest waste receptacle.

What if my symptoms worsen?

Seek emergency medical attention if:

o   Your cough is getting worse instead of better.

o   You have increased trouble breathing.

o   You have a fever higher than 101.5° F (38.6° C) orally.

o   You start to have chills, nausea, vomiting, or muscle aches.

o   You have any symptoms that worry you.

Can I avoid pneumonia? 

To help yourself avoid catching pneumonia, do the following:

  • Keep your immunizations up to date.
  •  Get a pneumonia vaccine (Pneumovax) if you have a chronic illness or are 65 years of age or older.
  • Get a flu shot every year in the fall.
  • Wash your hands often with warm water and soap for at least 15 seconds, especially during cold and flu season. You can also carry an alcohol-based hand cleaner with you to clean your hands when soap and water are not available.
  • Do not smoke.




What are kidney stones?

What are kidney stone? 

First, what are kidneys? The kidneys are located in the abdomen, on either side of your spine, just above your waist. They filter your blood and excrete waste products and excess water as urine.

A kidney stone is a solid piece of material that forms in the kidneys from substances in the urine. Stones can occur in any part of the urinary system, from the kidney to the bladder. They may be small or large. Kidney stones are most common in middle-aged people. They are more common in men than in women. They tend to come back.


What are kidney stones made of?


There are several types of kidney stones, but most stones are calcium stones. They occur when there is too much calcium in the urine. If your kidneys don’t work properly or if too much calcium is absorbed from your stomach and intestines, you may have excess calcium in your urine.

Some calcium stones are caused by too much of a chemical called oxalate that is found in many foods including spinach, rhubarb, leafy vegetables, coffee, chocolate, and tomatoes. Oxalate binds easily with calcium to form a stone.

Uric Acid:


A second type of kidney stone occurs because you have too much uric acid in your urine. Uric acid stones might result if you become dehydrated, for example, during strenuous exercise on a hot day or during an illness. Uric acid stones are common in people who have gout, a disease that causes high uric acid levels in the blood.



Struvite stones are a third type. They are also called infection stones because they form in urine that is infected with bacteria.


Finally, a rare type of kidney stone is a cystine stone. It occurs if you have the genetic disease called cystinuria. This disease results from a birth defect that causes the kidney to allow too much cystine into the urine. This type of stone formation is usually diagnosed during childhood.

Do I have kidney stones?

Some people have no symptoms until they pass gravel-like stones in their urine. Others never have any symptoms, and their stones are found during testing for other problems.  When kidney stones cause symptoms, they are generally:

·      Renal colic (severe, crampy pain in your back or abdomen)

·      Nausea

·      Vomiting

·      Difficulty urinating

·      Urinary tract infection (fever, chills, sweats)

If you suspect that you may have kidney stones, seek proper evaluation and diagnosis from your healthcare provider.

How is it treated?

Treatment depends on the size, type, and location of the stone(s), whether one or more stones are blocking urine flow out of the kidney, and whether there are signs of infection.

Small stones can be passed at home.  Your healthcare provider may ask you to strain all urine until the stone is passed. When the stone is caught, it can be tested in the lab to see what kind of stone it is. Usually you have pain off and on for several hours up to 1 or 2 days. However, a stone may take days or even weeks to pass. If a stone has not passed after a month or so, it may need to be surgically removed.

Larger stones that might block the flow of urine may require surgical intervention to remove the stone. As always, if you feel that you might have a kidney stone, see your health care provider for proper diagnosis and treatment.


·      Follow your healthcare provider’s recommended treatment for any health problems that may be causing kidney stones.

·      Drink plenty of water daily.

·      Follow any changes in your diet recommended by your provider after the stone has been tested in the lab.

·      Your healthcare provider may prescribe medicine to help prevent more stones.

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