What are the dangers of pneumonia

Complications

Complications of pneumonia can occur in the lungs as well as in other organs. One of the most serious complications is what is known as respiratory failure. The patient is no longer able to breathe independently and absorb enough oxygen. A severe lack of oxygen is the result. Blood poisoning (sepsis) is also one of the worst complications. The pathogens are scattered throughout the body, causing inflammation in many organs. Both complications absolutely require intensive medical treatment with mechanical ventilation if necessary.

Any acute pneumonia can develop into a chronic inflammation with a protracted course. Such chronic pneumonia can lead to bulging of the bronchi (bronchiectasis), which can result in recurring inflammation or lung bleeding. As a result of the inflammatory reactions, the lung tissue becomes scarred and is then less flexible.

Since patients with severe pneumonia are confined to bed for a long time, thrombosis (occlusion of a vein with a blood clot) may develop. In the worst case, such a thrombus can be carried into the bloodstream and occlude a vessel in the lungs (embolism).

Pneumonia can also lead to meningitis (meningitis) or an accumulation of pus in the brain (brain abscess). Inflammatory changes to the heart, joints and bones are also to be feared.