a. Definition/Characteristics. Pleuritis is an inflammation of the pleural lining,
a lining that covers the lungs and the chest cavity. The two surfaces of this lining are
moist and allow the lungs to move smoothly over the chest wall when a person
breathes. The surfaces of the lining become dry and rough. They rub together when
the pleura lining is inflamed. This condition, called pleurisy or pleuritis, is very painful
and becomes more painful when the person breathes deeply or coughs. Most cases of
pleuritis occur as complications of some other respiratory condition such as pneumonia,
tuberculosis, or another infectious disease. The underlying disease must be treated in
order to cure the pleuritis.
b. Signs/Symptoms. Pleuritis signs and symptoms include the following.
(1) Pain--varies from vague discomfort to sharp severe stabbing in the
chest. The pain becomes worse when the person coughs or breathes deeply.
Respirations--short, shallow, and rapid.
Motion--limited on the affected side.
Friction rub--usually heard only after 24 to 48 hours.
c. Treatment. The patient should rest in bed, use heat on the area that is
painful, and take analgesics for fever and mild pain.
a. Characteristics/Definition. Pneumonia is an acute infection of the alveoli
spaces of the lungs. Causes of pneumonia include injury to the respiratory mucosa with
pneumonia as a secondary infection, influenza, common colds, and bronchitis. There
are three types of pneumonia: bacterial, mycoplasmal (bacteria having no cell wall and
bounded by a triple-layered membrane), and viral. Bacterial pneumonia is further
subdivided into these types: pneumococcal; staphylococcal; klebsiella (Friedlander's
bacillus); streptococcal; and influenza bacillus.
b. Pneumococcal Pneumonia. Sixty to eighty percent of bacterial pneumonia
cases are pneumococcal pneumonia. This type of pneumonia, an inflammation of the
lung tissue, is probably caused by a lowering of a person's natural resistance to