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Revista Cubana de Medicina General Integral

Print version ISSN 0864-2125


TOLEDO RODRIGUEZ, Isabel de los Milagros  and  TOLEDO MARRERO, María del Carmen. Community-acquired pneumonia in children and adolescents. Rev Cubana Med Gen Integr [online]. 2012, vol.28, n.4, pp.712-724. ISSN 0864-2125.

Pneumonia brings high morbidity and mortality to developing countries and it is still a substantial health problem in Cuba. The objective of this paper was to provide the primary health care professionals with updated information about pneumonia in the childhood. Community-acquired pneumonia appears in individuals living in the community as a result of a failure in the mechanisms of defense at airways against the action of infective agents that vary with the patient's age. Streptococcus pneumonia is the most significant in childhood. The diagnosis is basically clinical whereas tachypnea found in children under 5 years of age is the main predictive signal. Neither lab tests nor microbiological studies are strictly indispensable at primary health care level; furthermore, X-rays should not be made as part of a routine. In the face of complications and other criteria, the patient must be admitted to the hospital for treatment and monitoring. It is recommended to apply antibiotics in all the cases, depending on the patient's age. Prevention is vital to control the disease. Pneumonia is a typically curable disease, but it is often deadly, particularly in children; therefore, it is necessary to keep the perception on the weight of pneumonia as a public health problem and to have clear and updated knowledge about the etiology, the pathogenesis and the diagnosis of this disease, as well as the strategies to be pursued to prevent, to manage and to treat it.

Keywords : pneumonia; children; Streptococcus pneumonia; tachypnea; antiobiotic; prevention.

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