Lung abscess and its causes
Lung abscess is a destructive infection with cavity formation in the lungs. This infection sometimes occurs following pneumonia or an operation, but since the advent of antibiotics, it happens much less frequently.
Obstruction of the bronchial tubes due to infection or tumor usually precedes abscess formation, But tuberculosis or a pre-existing tumor also may be causes of an abscess. Tiredness, loss of appetite, cough, sweats, chills, and fever are the first symptoms. Chest pain is usual.
Symptoms of lung abscess
As the disease progresses, large quantities of foul—smelling, blood-streaked sputum may be coughed up in a few hours. Weight loss, anemia, increased fever, weakness, and labored breathing follow. Rupture of the abscess into the lung cavity may follow, sometimes resulting in shock and empyema. X—ray examination is the most important diagnostic tool, together with a bacteriology examination for the infecting organism.
Treatment of lungs abscess
Treatment consists of antibiotic therapy, complete bed rest, postural drainage, and a high protein diet with vitamin supplements. Prompt diagnosis and adequate drainage of the abscess are necessary for recovery. Unfortunately, lung abscess in patients with alcoholism and malnutrition is the result of chronic neglect and prognosis is usually poor. Persistent abscesses may require surgical removal.