It is caused by a bacterial or viral infection that results in an inflammatory process of the lungs. It is an infectious process that is spread by droplets or by contact. Predisposing factors to the development of pneumonia include upper respiratory infections, excessive alcohol ingestion, central nervous system depression, cardiac failure, any debilitating illness, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, endotrachial intubations, postoperative effects of general anesthesia, at risk are patients who are bedridden, patients with lowered resistance, and hospitalized patients in whom a superadded infection may develop.
¨ Give psychological support to the patient and his/her family.
¨ The patient must be in rest in Fowler's position.
¨ Hydrate the patient orally.
¨ If intense polypnea, vomits, abdominal distention; hydration should be by IV infusion.
¨ Observe tolerance when administering oral fluids.
¨ Monitor Vital signs: Blood pressure, pulse, and emphasize in respiration and temperature.
¨ Assess respiratory movements and use of accessory muscles.
¨ Encourage patient to cough unless cough is frequent and nonproductive.
¨ Maintain adequate hydration.
¨ Position patient to facilitate clearing secretions.
¨ Observe sputum color, amount and odor, and report significant changes. (Be sure the specimen is coughed up is not saliva)
¨ Administer medications (Antibiotics, expectorants, others) prescribed by the doctor on time.
¨ Use nasofaringeal airway as needed.
¨ Assess respirations: Note quality, rate, pattern, depth, dyspnea on exertion, use of accessory muscles, position assumed in easy breathing, polypnea, coastal retractions and flaring of the nares, also assess cough and fever.
¨ Assess skin color for development of cyanosis.
¨ Assess for activity intolerance.
¨ Use appropriate therapy for elevated temperatures: antipyretics,cold therapy, etc.
¨ Ask the patient to verbalize any complaints of discomfort.
¨ Indicate postural drainage.
¨ Give respiratory physiotherapy.
¨ Take care of the patients with long periods in bed because of complete rest or because he/she is postrated by means of changing his/her position to avoid bedsores and other respiratory complications.
¨ Offer a good sanitary education to the patient and his/her family in relation with the disease, treatment, diet and general hygiene measures.