In the twenty-first century, our world is using up oxygen so fast that we are spending money at an oxygen bar. The end is inevitably near, but is not breathing fresh air the only possible respiratory problem? No, there are many more serious diseases that can be detrimental to us. One such disease is Klebsiella Pneumoniae infection. This is mainly a respiratory disease but might cause a lack of comfort in other body parts as well. Here, we will tell you all about this condition.
What is this Klebsiella Pneumoniae Bacteria?
It is a non-motile, gram-negative, lactose fermenting, encapsulated, facultative anaerobic bacterium. It has a rod-like shape. In a clinical setting, this bacteria is the most significant member of the genus Klebsiella of the family of Enterobacterales.
Where does this K. Pneumoniae live?
This common bacterium is usually harmless in nature. They often live in your mouth, skin or in your intestines without causing any trouble. But, if it is aspirated it can be a serious problem launcher. It can be detrimental if it gets into other body parts. The attack is far more dangerous if you are already sick. During a major sickness, these bacteria can become a ‘superbug’ which is almost impossible to get rid of.
Seriously, if the attack is major, normal antibiotics cannot shake it off. It might need major treatment to get cured. These germs can cause a number of illnesses, like pneumonia, infect any of your wounds, or attack your blood. Not only humans, but it can also cause similar diseases to animals as well. It usually causes change to the alveoli which ultimately leads to emitting bloody jelly-like mucus. These are the commonly found Klebsiella Pneumoniae characteristic.
Whom does K. Pneumoniae infection attack?
It is really hard to tell exactly the type of people who might get attacked by Klebsiella Pneumoniae as it is in case of any other disease. Anyone can get affected by these bacteria, aging from eight to eighty. Everyone should be aware of the symptoms of this disease to be safe from getting ill. However, in general, these bacteria attack middle-aged people, old aged people with long debilitating diseases.
People with damaged respiratory defenses might fall easy prey to this disease, including people with alcoholism, diabetes, liver disease, malignancy, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, renal failure, glucocorticoid therapy, and other specific professional exposure (like workers of paper mills). Several of these infections can be obtained when a person is admitted to the hospital for any other reason or when any device is being attached to their body, like catheters, tubes that are inserted into a vein to inject medicines, endotracheal tubes for facilitating breathing process, etc.
What else can K. Pneumoniae attack?
In addition to pneumonia, Klebsiella can attack and cause infections in your urinary tract, in the lower biliary tract, and even any of your surgical wound sites. It can also cause a man a huge number of clinical diseases, like, urinary tract infection, diarrhea, cholecystitis, thrombophlebitis, upper respiratory tract infection, meningitis, wound infection, osteomyelitis, sepsis, bacteremia, and others. For those patients who have any invasive device within their bodies, they run the risk of contamination of their devices. Neonatal ward devises, urinary catheters, respiratory support equipment devices put the patient at more risk. Even if the patient is on a course of antibiotic dose, it can increase the risk of getting a nosocomial infection by Klebsiella Pneumoniae.
Signs and symptoms of Klebsiella Pneumoniae
For starters, you may cough up particularly characterized sputum, typically of bloody red, brownish or yellow color, and jelly-like appearance. Among other symptoms, a high fever, nausea, chest pain, trouble at breathing, vomiting several times a day, tachycardia, etc. one can have high or fluctuating body temperature while infected with these bacteria.
Though it may seem like a normal fever, it can set an early alarm. Nausea can be a symptom of several diseases. But feeling nauseated with a tendency to throw up is a serious indication for this infection. Chest pain can be very painful for everyone. You may feel like carrying a huge burden on your chest which is painful because it would not let you breathe freely. This may lead you to a severe breathing problem. Tachycardia is a rapid rate of the heartbeat which may be inappropriate or irregular or regular but is not proportionate to age or level of activity or exertion. Alcoholism is an underlying condition that increases the risk of such infection from K. Pneumoniae bacteria. In addition to these common symptoms, one may show a number of other uncommon symptoms while getting infected with Klebsiella Pneumoniae.
If you or anyone around you show the slightest symptoms of Klebsiella Pneumoniae, do not hesitate to take her or him to the specialist near you. Though a slight symptom is not a very alarming thing for this type of infection, it is best to consult a doctor at your earliest convenience. If gone unbridled, this infection can be of fatal damage. However, the symptoms alone cannot be taken for a sure sign of Klebsiella Pneumoniae. So, the doctor might have to test your spit, urine, blood, or other fluid of your body to be certain. According to the test report, treatments can be started.
Diagnosis of Klebsiella Pneumoniae
As soon as one is showing any symptom of K. pneumonia, he or she should be taken to the nearest diagnostic center to go along with the prescribed tests that your doctor has suggested. There are a few medical tests that can be helpful in diagnosing K. pneumonia.
Complete Blood Count or CBC is a requested blood panel for the doctor that can give certain necessary information about the blood cells of the patient. The types of information that a CBC test can give include the cell count for each type of blood cell or the concentration level of hemoglobin in the patient’s blood. This test is proved to be very helpful in detecting Klebsiella Pneumoniae in humans or in an animal.
Another possible suggestion is Sputum culture. By examining sputum or mucus experts can tell whether or not a person is infected with K. pneumonia. At first, the sputum of the patient is collected in a suitable pot to run required medical tests on it later. Sputum tests are essentially helpful in revealing the presence of any fungi or bacteria that infect the breathing passages or lungs of a person. From the old days, before technological advancement came in, sputum culture has been an effective method of diagnosis for a good many diseases. Since then, it has been used for this purpose and never has it ever been proven to be a failure. That is why; doctors go for this test at the very beginning of treatment.
Radiography of chest
Radiography is another effective diagnostic procedure that doctors may suggest in case one is showing symptoms of Klebsiella Pneumoniae. In this case, a radiography test of the chest is often prescribed before any treatment begins. Radiography is a kind of image building technique that makes use of X-rays, gamma rays, and other similar types of radiating agents. This radiation can be ionizing radiation or non-ionizing in nature. Proper radiography of chest can diagnose the presence of the particular bacteria which can be helpful in eradicating the ailment before it gets too late for the patient. If your doctor suggests a radiography test, you may hurry up with that.
One of the major diagnostic tests is CT scan in this situation. Other names for CT scans are x-ray computed tomography, computerized axial tomography scan. This scan makes use of a combination of x-rays that is computer processed to take images from several angles. This ultimately helps in creating a cross-sectional (tomographic), three-dimensional image of the intended area. This might be intimidating for a patient to go through such heavy procedures. But, technological advancement has made sure that you are totally safe and sound during these procedures. All you have to do is to calm yourself. Based on the report of a CT scan your doctor can start with basic treatment that suits your cause.
All the mentioned tests are common standardized tests which are usually suggested by medical practitioners for the purpose of Klebsiella Pneumoniae diagnosis. You may want to go right away to your nearest diagnostic center where these tests are done to be certain of the bug that is ailing you.
Treatment for this K. pneumonia is tricky. The way of treatment varies within a huge spectrum of possible remedies. The level of treatment differs depending on the acuteness of the disease, the age of the patient, or the capacity of the patient to receive the treatment. However, the treatment may be slightest or massive. Doctors start with antibiotic courses at the beginning. If your doctor prescribes antibiotics just pop the pills as the physician tells you to. If you skip a dose the course might not be as effective as expected, and the infection might catch you back.
In a bit serious case, if you have an infection that is resistant to an antibiotic, you might not be afraid. You have an expert as your doctor. So, he or she will definitely decide the best way to treat you. He or she may suggest a different antibiotic which will effect in your particular case of a combination of them. In 95% of cases of K. pneumonia, the patient recovers soon or later. But, in some cases the situation is fatal. The patient never recovers especially if he or she is already very sick.
The key to good health is to believe the saying that goes, ‘prevention is better than cure’. To prevent any infection from K. pneumonia one has to be careful of a few facts. This bacterium does not spread through the air. So, you have no risk at staying near any patient. One way of prevention is to wash hands before you eat, drink, touch your nose, mouth or eyes. You should also wash your hands before you have to change bandages on a wound. You have to be mindful of washing your hands after using any bathroom, toilets or washrooms after you blow your nose or cough or sneeze after you touch anything that might have infections on it, such stationaries at a doctor’s chamber or hospitals.
As most of the time, this infection gets on board while you sign up for other treatments, there are few preventives measures that you can take while being admitted to a hospital. You should ask the staff about their ways of preventing infections. If you had to use a catheter or other device, you may ask to have it taken away when you do not need those any longer. You should tell your doctors or attending nurses to check out if your bandages are getting wet for some reason. Maybe they as well ought to check if your IV tubes are falling out of its place.
Ask everyone to wash their hands first before they come to your cabin to visit you. These are the basic preventive measures one should take to avoid infections from K. pneumonia. In addition to those, you should not stop having medicines for your other diseases like diabetes while being admitted to a hospital for the treatment of other diseases.
Pneumonia is not something that becomes fatal for a person without even giving a hint first. So, to prevent fatality, you should be vigilant of any minor Klebsiella Pneumoniae causes and go for a suitable treatment. Above all, you should educate your family members and your children about fever and more symptoms of such infection so that they can call for immediate help if that is necessary. After all, health hazards can be sudden so, one must keep an eye for the slightest tremor within the surface of a good and healthy day. If you have a healthy life, you have a happy life.