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All about pneumonia types of pneumonia walking pneumonia aspiration pneumonia bacterial pneumonia viral pneumonia bronchial pneumonia community-acquired pneumonia hospital-acquired pneumonia atypical pneumonia causes of pneumonia risk factors for pneumonia complications of pneumonia symptoms of pneumonia diagnosis of pneumonia treatment for pneumonia prevention of pneumonia

How is pneumonia diagnosed?

The diagnosis of pneumonia is usually made from a medical history, a physical examination, and a chest X-ray. A doctor

who suspects pneumonia begins by taking a thorough medical history and performing a physical examination. Bacterial pneumonias often come on suddenly; creating a cough that produces mucous that is often colored or "rusty", fever, and pain along the chest wall. Based on the medical history and physical exam, a doctor may choose to begin treatment right away without doing other tests. The need for more tests often is guided by the severity of symptoms and a person's age and state of health. In general, the sicker a person is, the more tests may be done. This is particularly true for older adults and infants. Blood tests are generally performed when a pneumonia is suspected: a full blood count often showns neutrophilia (except in some immunocompromised and all neutropenic patients). Renal function may have deteriorated if there is sepsis. Electrolytes can show hyponatremia (low sodium levels); this is often due to secretion of antidiuretic hormone by pulmonary tissue. In nosocomial (hospital-acquired) pneumonia and the pneumonias of the immunocompromised, diagnosis can be difficult, and CT scanning of the lungs can be required to differentiate possible causes (e.g. pulmonary embolism). CT scanning is also used when the symptoms and physical examination point at possible different causes for the complaints (e.g. vasculitis, sarcoidosis, lung cancer).

More information on pneumonia

What is pneumonia? - Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs. Pneumonia is an inflammation of the lung caused by infection with bacteria, viruses, or other organisms.
What types of pneumonia are there? - Types of pneumonia are bacterial pneumonia, viral pneumonia, mycoplasma pneumonia, pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, aspiration (or inhalation) pneumonia.
What is walking pneumonia? - Walking pneumonia is pneumonia that is usually mild enough that the child does not have to stay in bed.
What is aspiration pneumonia? - Aspiration pneumonia is an inflammation of the lungs and bronchial tubes caused by inhaling foreign material.
What is bacterial pneumonia? - Bacterial pneumonia is pneumonia caused by bacteria. Streptococcus pneumoniae is the most common cause of bacterial pneumonia.
What is viral pneumonia? - Viral pneumonia is caused by various viruses. Viral pneumonia is usually milder than bacterial pneumonia.
What is bronchial pneumonia? - Bronchial pneumonia is when the pneumonia spreads to several patches in one or both lungs.
What is community-acquired pneumonia? - Community-acquired pneumonia occurs most commonly in very young and very old people.
What is hospital-acquired pneumonia? - Hospital-acquired pneumonia, also called nosocomial pneumonia, is an infection that patients get while they're in the hospital.
What is atypical pneumonia? - Atypical pneumonia is a pneumonia that does not respond to the usual antibiotic treatment.
What causes pneumonia? - Pneumonia is caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites or other organisms such as Streptococcus pneumoniae.
What're the risk factors for pneumonia? - Alcohol or drug abuse is strongly associated with pneumonia. The elderly and infants and young children are at greater risk of pneumonia.
What're the complications of pneumonia? - Complications of pneumonia that may occur include buildup of fluid in the space between the lung and chest wall.
What are the symptoms of pneumonia? - Symptoms of pneumonia are shortness of breath, chest pain, coughing, shallow, and fever and chills.
How is pneumonia diagnosed? - The diagnosis of pneumonia is usually made from a medical history, a physical examination, and a chest X-ray.
What's the treatment for pneumonia? - Treatment of pneumonia consists of respiratory support, including O2 if indicated, and antibiotics.
How to prevent pneumonia? - Vaccines are available to protect against pneumococcal pneumonia, pneumonia caused by the bacterium.
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All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005, health-cares.net, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005