An inflammation of the lungs caused by an infection.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Pneumonia is a very common, serious illness and affects about 1 out of 100 people each year. It is caused by many different organisms and can range in seriousness from mild to life-threatening illness. There are different categories of pneumonia.
Two of these types are hospital-acquired and community-acquired. Common types of community-acquired pneumonia are pneumococcal pneumonia and Mycoplasma pneumonia. In some people, particularly the elderly and those who are debilitated, pneumonia may follow INFLUENZA. Hospital-acquired pneumonia tends to be more serious because defense mechanisms against infection are often impaired.
Some of the specific pneumonia-related disorders include:
also called acute pulmonary eosinophilia (Loeffler’s syndrome)
Vaccination (flu vaccine, pneumovax) may be helpful in preventing some types of pneumonia. Coughing and deep breathing may help prevent some forms of hospital-acquired pneumonia. See also the specific types of pneumonia.
Additional symptoms that may be associated with this disease:
Crackles are heard when listening to the chest with a stethoscope (auscultation).
This disease may also alter the results of the following tests:
The goal of treatment is to cure the infection with antibiotics. If the pneumonia is caused by a virus, antibiotics will not be effective.
Supportive therapy includes oxygen and respiratory treatments to remove secretions, if indicated.
Most patients will respond to the treatment and improve in two weeks. Elderly or debilitated patients who fail to respond to treatment may die from respiratory failure.
Calling your health care provider
Call Your health care provider if symptoms of pneumonia develop.
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