What is Pneumonia?
Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs. It affects the lower respiratory tract. This includes small bronchi (airways) and air sacs in the lungs. There are three main causes:
- Bacterial pneumonia - caused by bacteria, most commonly Streptococcus pneumoniae
- Viral pneumonia - caused by a virus
- Atypical bacterial pneumonia - often called "walking pneumonia," but can cause a more serious or potentially fatal pneumonia
- Fungal infections, such as infections that are common in people with AIDS
Pneumonias are sometimes described by where it was acquired and how you were exposed to it:
- Community-acquired pneumonia - cquired in the community (eg, at school, work, gym)
- Nosocomial pneumonia - acquired during a hospitalization
- Aspiration pneumonia - happens when a foreign matter (often stomach content) is inhaled
Why is this important?
Nosocomial pneumonia can be very dangerous, especially for patients on a ventilator.
How are we doing at providing the best care for patients who may have, or are risk of catching pneumonia?
The pneumococcal vaccine may help you prevent, or lower the risk of complications of pneumonia caused by bacteria. It may also help you prevent future infections. Patients with pneumonia should be asked if they have been vaccinated recently for pneumonia and, if not, should be given the vaccine.
This graph shows the number of times eligible patients received the pneumoncoccal vaccination at Hartford Hospital. Higher percentages are better. Top performing hospitals provide this to 100% of the eligible patients.
What efforts are in place to improve performance?
A high focus is placed on this measure and all cases are reviewed with team members to assure compliance.