It is uncommon to diagnose lung abscess formation in children. When diagnosed, it is often a result of an underlying medical condition. Data regarding lung abscess in pediatric cases are quite few in medical literature.
Lung abscess is defined as necrosis of pulmonary tissues and the formation of cavities that contains pus (necrotic debris and fluid) and is microbial in nature.
A lung abscess can be categorized as acute or chronic and primary or secondary. Acute abscess are those that are less than 4 to 6 weeks old, chronic abscess are those of longer duration.
Primary abscess is caused by an infectious origin in a healthy host, secondary abscess are caused by an underlying condition.
Symptoms And Causes Of Abscess On Lung
The common symptoms of lung abscess are the following:
- Foul-smelling, bloody, or purulent sputum
- Pleuritic chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Weight loss
Lung Abscess Causes
There are many causes of lung abscess, but the most common causes in children are the following:
- Pulmonary aspiration – when bacteria enter the pulmonary system.
- Impaired or ineffective mucociliary defense mechanism – the mechanism found in the body’s respiratory system that helps to usher foreign pathogens outside of the system. In very young children, this defense system may not yet be fully developed.
- Underlying diseases such as pneumonia.
- Children with neurocognitive impairment or disabilities.
Treatment For Lung Abscess In Children
Before, both children and adult had a higher morbidity and mortality rate due to restrictions in medical treatment. Today, with the advent of antibiotics and advanced medical treatment, children and even adults have a better prognosis from the disease.
- Prolonged treatment of intravenous antibiotics to fight the infection.
- Placement of percutaneous “pigtail catheters” under ultrasound guidance.
- Aspiration and drainage of the abscess.
- Postural drainage to help facilitate the discharge of the pus or necrotic material into the upper respiratory system for expectoration.
- Oxygen therapy to address problems with hypoxemia or decreased oxygen saturation.
- Chest physiotherapy which includes proper coughing and deep breathing to facilitate in the expectoration of necrotic material.
- Increase in fluid intake to help loosen the secretions and make it easier for expectoration.
- If the patient has difficulty coughing up secretions, it is best to suction the secretions to prevent a possible spread that can cause a secondary infection.
- Provide a quiet and restful environment to help the patient to heal faster and rest as needed.