health care  
All about empyema causes of empyema symptoms of empyema diagnosis of empyema treatment for empyema

What're the symptoms of empyema?

The signs and symptoms of empyema vary somewhat according to the location of the infection and its severity. In empyema

thoracis, patients usually exhibit symptoms of pneumonia, including fever, cough, fatigue, shortness of breath, and chest pain. They may prefer to lie on the side of the body affected by the empyema. Family members may notice bad breath. In severe cases, the patient may become dehydrated, cough up blood or greenish-brown sputum, run a fever as high as 105°F (40.6°C), or fall into a coma. Patients with thoracic empyema may develop potentially life-threatening complications if the condition is not treated. The infected tissues may develop large collections of pus (abscesses) that can rupture into the patient's airway, or the infection may spread to the tissues surrounding the heart. In extreme cases the empyema may spread to the brain by means of bacteria carried in the bloodstream. In pelvic empyema, the infection produces large amounts of thick, foul-smelling pus that is rapidly replaced even after drainage. Empyema of the gallbladder is marked by intense pain on the upper right side of the abdomen, high fever, and rigidity of the muscles over the infected area. A subdural empyema can cause headache, sleepiness, seizures, and other signs of brain dysfunction. The symptoms can evolve over several days, and without treatment, they progress rapidly to coma and death.

More information on empyema

What is empyema? - Empyema is the presence of gross pus in the pleural cavity; it consists of an effusion containing polymorphonuclear leukocytes and fibrin.
What causes empyema? - Empyema is caused by an infection that often spreads from the lungs following pneumonia. A subdural empyema may result from a sinus infection, a severe ear infection.
What're the symptoms of empyema? - The signs and symptoms of empyema vary somewhat according to the location of the infection and its severity.
How is empyema diagnosed? - The diagnosis of empyema is usually confirmed by analyzing a sample of fluid taken from the pleural cavity.
What's the treatment for empyema? - The goal of treatment for empyema is to cure the infection and remove the collection of pus from the lung.
Respiratory & lung diseases Mainpage

Topics in respiratory and lung diseases

Lung diseases
Occupational lung diseases
Respiratory infections
Respiration disorders
Broncheal diseases
Pleural diseases
Lung transplant

Featured articles on respiratory and lung diseases

COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
Lung cancer
Pulmonary hypertension
Cystic fibrosis
Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)

All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005,, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005