Pleurisy in a child: how to recognize and cure a disease

The human respiratory system has a complex structure and consists of a number of elements. The main organ that provides breathing rights are the lungs. Given the fact that the air contains a mass of bacteria, small particles and other constituents that enter each person's lungs with each breath, it is obvious that the diseases of the respiratory system may be mass. Consider one of them, namely pleurisy in children.


  • 1 Pediatric pleurisy and its causes
  • 2 Symptoms of the inflammatory process
  • 3 Treatment of various forms of the disease in children

Pediatric pleurisy and its causes

Pleura is an elastic thin shell that covers the entire surface of the human lungs. In turn pleuritis is an inflammatory process localized in this shell. In children, such a disease is very common, and in most cases it is considered a consequence of a catarrhal disease.

The problem can have both a primary nature( that is, it is an independent disease) and a secondary one, acting as a consequence of another process taking place in the body. In order to clarify the causes of the disease, first we will understand its varieties. So, pleurisy in a child can be:

  • acute or chronic;
  • infectious( caused by the penetration of a pathogenic microorganism - fungus or virus) or non-infectious( it is provoked by other diseases and pathologies - pulmonary embolism, sarcoidosis, pleural mesothelioma, etc.);
  • , depending on the peculiarities of the course of the inflammatory process, dry pleurisy( it is not accompanied by any additional formations) and exudative type can be distinguished( pus or other types of exudate can accumulate in the pleural region).

Note by the physician: the specialists describe a definite relationship between the type of the disease and the age of its onset. So, at a younger age, a purulent form of pleurisy is often diagnosed, in children of lower grades - non-nasal varieties( serous or serous-fibrinous).In the older age, the most common form of the disease is dry.

So, what can trigger the development of the inflammatory process in the pleura? To develop the problem can against the background:

  • getting into the body of staphylococci;
  • the presence of pneumonia, which caused complications;
  • pneumococci and streptococci can also be pathogens;
  • serous( nonsusular) types of the disease describe as a local allergic reaction that has arisen in response to the ongoing tuberculosis process.

You can also talk about the existence of a number of factors that create favorable conditions for the development of the disease in the child:

  • hypothermia;
  • overheating in the sun;
  • improper diet, unable to supply the body with all the necessary nutrients;
  • weakened immunity against the background of frequent infectious diseases;
  • trauma of the thoracic region.

Symptoms of the inflammatory process

Symptomatic manifestations of this disease can occur in a fairly wide range, which often makes it difficult to diagnose it. The main manifestations of the disease include:

  • general weakness and poor health;
  • heat;
  • appearance of dyspnea in a child.

Doctor's opinion: Be careful with young children under the age of one year - they have symptoms that are less pronounced, but are more dangerous. So, the baby's temperature may not rise at all, but the problems with breathing can get so complicated that the state of suffocation will come.

Pleurisy on X-ray

Pleurisy on X-ray

If a pleurisy occurs, the child can also complain about other violations of his normal state:

  • when inhaled, there is a pain in the chest;
  • profuse sweating and chills;
  • with accumulation of exudate the pulse quickens, the breathing becomes superficial, and the heart sounds are muffled;
  • may have functional disorders from other organs - the liver and endocrine system;
  • for dry form characteristic is the appearance of an excruciating cough and a significant difficulty in breathing.

With pleurisy often suffers only one lung( although there are also cases of bilateral damage).This can help to conduct preliminary diagnosis at home - you need to ask the child to lie on one side, and then on the other. The side on which there will be no discomfort and pain, and will be healthy, the second, lying on which provoked painful sensations, is most likely affected by the inflammatory process.

Treatment of various forms of the disease in children

The first thing to note - hospitalization in the case of this disease is simply necessary. How much it is necessary to spend a child in a hospital depends on the complexity and neglect of the process. So, with a dry form, treatment usually lasts a week, while a purulent form can last for a month. An accurate diagnosis is made by the doctor on the basis of complaints and results of laboratory tests of blood and urine. You may also need ultrasound and X-ray examination.

The course of treatment depends on the specific form and cause of the disease:

  • if pleurisy is a complication of pneumonia, then a course of antibiotic drugs is needed;
  • can be used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and glucocorticosteroids;
  • if the disease is a consequence of the tuberculosis process, then specific therapy with streptomycin, isoniazid, etc.;
  • may be prescribed painkillers;
  • warming mustard packs;
  • preparations to restore and maintain immunity;
  • in the event that the disease has led to intoxication, it is necessary to introduce a detoxification solution.
Pleural effusion

With pleurisy possible effusion, then the liquid must be removed

With exudative form, evacuation of accumulated exudate is necessary. Usually, this procedure is carried out in the form of a puncture, during which time one liter of liquid is removed. Purulent form may require even surgical intervention to remove accumulated pus and treat the pleural cavity with antiseptic solutions.

The treatment is long and complicated, therefore doctors recommend generally to avoid its appearance. To do this, it is necessary to resort to standard preventive measures: strengthening immunity, avoiding supercooling and overheating and full, proper nutrition.

Thanks to timely measures taken in most cases, it is possible to avoid unpleasant complications of the disease and return the baby full, healthy breathing.