One of the main symptoms of lung abscess is productive cough, but there are more indications that need due attention. Through the availability of antibiotics, treating lung abscess in children has become manageable.
Lung Abscess Symptoms
- For several weeks, there is noticeable lack of appetite accompanied by significant weight loss.
- The patient frequently coughs out sputum with a foul odor.
- Coughing out pus or blood is also a common indication.
- Symptoms of fever like chills, headache and sweating
- Productive cough
- Rapid heart rate
- There is a bluish tint on the patient’s skin due to lack of oxygen.
- A general stench coming from the mouth while coughing
- Difficulty in breathing
Diagnosis for Lung Abscess
- X-ray of chest
- CT scan may be needed.
- Unless anaerobic infection is highly likely, sputum cultures need to be performed to rule out fungi or mycobacterium.
- To determine the possible presence of lung cancer, bronchoscopy is done on the patient. A viewing device is inserted to probe into the airways.
Lung Abscess Treatment
- Lung abscess is treated through a combination of antibiotics, oxygen therapy and on rare occasions, surgery.
- Intravenous administration of penicillin and clindamycin is also performed.
- When polymicrobial infection is the suspected cause, a second-generation cephalosporin is given to the patient. It has gram-positive, gram-negative and anaerobic coverage.
- Additional antibiotics may be dispensed by the doctor to treat the organisms that thrive inside the mouth.
Lung Abscess Surgery
- Surgical treatment is a rare initial course of solution recommended by doctors.
- Physicians would only opt for surgery if the patient is not responding to medical treatment or when the diagnosis fails to rule out cancer as the cause.
- Surgical treatment for lung abscess is considered high-risk as possible spillage of the abscess may reach the contralateral lung.
- Experienced surgeons utilize complex procedures and tools in order to clap the bronchus and avoid spillage.
- Clinical studies suggest the use of thoracoscopic surgery to effectively drain lung abscess among children, without resulting to major complications.
- Patients who underwent thoracoscopy were reported to enjoy rapid recovery and less pain.
- Lobectomy is another common procedure used to treat lung abscess.
- For multiple abscesses, pneumonectomy is advised, especially if the patient faces pulmonary gangrene that is unresponsive to medication.
- Overall, individuals suffering from lung abscess may have better prognosis through prompt diagnosis and due medication from proper antibiotics.