Can a CPAP give someone Legionnaires' disease

Prognosis, course & complications

On average, the illness lasts seven days. If there is a severe reduction in white blood cells as a result of blood poisoning (toxic leukocytopenia), the prospects for survival are poor. Death can occur very quickly within a few days due to shock and breathing disorders.

If left untreated, the disease is fatal in many cases, especially in patients with pre-existing chronic lung diseases. 16-30% of patients die because they are left untreated or because they are given a drug that turns out to be ineffective because the pathogen in question is antibiotic resistance to this active substance
Bacteria can develop a resistance to certain drugs, that is, they become insensitive to these drugs. The drugs, especially antibiotics, are no longer effective against these bacteria.
have formed. Legionnaires acquired in hospitals, in particular, are usually difficult to treat (50% mortality) if multiply resistant bacterial strains infect severely weakened patients.

After a correct diagnosis, however, the disease can be treated successfully and brought to a complete cure. Thanks to the improved diagnostic options, which now allow for earlier treatment than in the past, mortality has been reduced to less than 10% of the treated cases.

The earlier drug therapy begins and the fewer risk factors there are in a patient, the better the chances of a complete cure. With correct and timely treatment, around 90% of patients do not have Legionella antigens after 60 days
Antigens are certain surface structure features (chemical molecules) that are characteristic of every pathogen and every substance, are recognized by the body's own defense system (immune system) as foreign ("not self") and trigger a defense reaction (immune reaction).
more verifiable. In the X-ray, which can show tissue damage and small bleeding, indications of the disease can still be seen up to 4 months after the pneumonia has healed.

The duration of treatment is several weeks and must therefore be continued longer than with other pneumonia. Any antibiotic resistance - especially if it occurs in hospital - can make treatment even more difficult.

Pneumonia usually heals without consequences if the patient responds to treatment. Only in rare cases do breathing difficulties persist. Occasionally, there may be scarring of lung tissue complications. Those affected then suffer from breathing disorders and cough, their lips and nail beds are discolored bluish as a result of the insufficient oxygen content in the blood (cyanosis cyanosis
Bluish discoloration of the skin and fingernails due to acute or chronic lack of oxygen.
).

Particular complications

There is a risk that legionnaires' disease will not be treated at all, incorrectly or too late, because it may be caused by pneumococcal pneumococcal disease
These are spherical bacteria that (in contrast to Legionella) can usually be brought under control with the antibiotic penicillin. There is also a preventive vaccination against pneumonia caused by pneumococci.
caused pneumonia and is therefore treated with the wrong medication. Legionnaires' disease can then spread throughout the body, damaging the digestive tract, kidneys and nervous system and ultimately leading to death of the patient with attacks of suffocation.

Acute lung failure (ARDS)
In rare cases, acute lung failure (ARDS - from English: adult respiratory distress syndrome) occurs, which is accompanied by blood poisoning with reduced blood clotting (state of shock) and can then lead to the simultaneous failure of several organs. The likelihood of surviving such a complication is very small.

Encephalitis
Inflammation of the brain tissue (encephalitis) can occur as a complication, sometimes including the meninges and the spinal cord. This often manifests itself with impaired consciousness, drowsiness and confusion. If the treatment is successful, however, it will subside together with the pneumonia and usually without any consequences.

Legionella infection of other organs
Legionella infection of organs other than the lungs is extremely rare, but it is very problematic and occurs almost exclusively in hospitals. Most of the time, the heart or kidneys are affected. Such infections presumably occur through contaminated surgical wounds or supply hoses.