Bronchopneumonia; Community-acquired pneumonia
Your doctor must first decide whether you need to be in the hospital. If you are treated in the hospital, you will receive:
It is very important that you are started on antibiotics very soon after you are admitted.
You are more likely to be admitted to the hospital if you:
However, many people can be treated at home. If bacteria are causing the pneumonia, the doctor will try to cure the infection with antibiotics. It may be hard for your health care provider to know whether you have viral or bacterial pneumonia, so you may receive antibiotics.
Your doctor may tell you to take antibiotics. Antibiotics help most people with pneumonia get better.
Breathing warm, moist (wet) air helps loosen the sticky mucus that may make you feel like you are choking. These things may help:
Coughing helps clear your airways. Take a couple of deep breaths two or three times every hour. Deep breaths will help open up your lungs.
Tap your chest gently a few times a day and lie with your head lower than your chest. This can help bring up mucus from the lungs.
If you smoke any tobacco products, STOP. Do not allow smoking in your home.
Drink plenty of liquids (as long as your health care provider says it is okay):
Get plenty of rest when you go home. If you have trouble sleeping at night, take naps during the day.
With treatment, most patients will improve within 2 weeks. Elderly or very sick patients may need longer treatment.
Those who may be more likely to have complicated pneumonia include:
Your doctor may want to make sure your chest x-ray becomes normal again after you take a course of antibiotics. However, it may take many weeks for your x-ray to clear up.
Possible complications include:
Call your doctor if you have:
Infants with pneumonia may not have a cough. Call your doctor if your infant makes grunting noises or the area below the rib cage is pulling in during breathing.
Van der Poll T, Opal SM. Pathogenesis, treatment, and prevention of pneumococcal pneumonia. Lancet. 2009;374:1543-1556.
Niederman M. In the clinic. Community-acquired pneumonia. Ann Intern Med. 2009;151(7).
Mandell LA, Wunderink RG, Anzueto A, et al. Infectious Diseases Society of America/American Thoracic Society consensus guidelines on the management of community-acquired pneumonia in adults. Clin Infect Dis. 2007 Mar 1;44 Suppl 2:S27-72.
Torres A, MenÃ©ndez R, Wunderink R. Pyogenic bacterial pneumonia and lung abscess. In: Mason RJ, Broaddus VC, Martin TR, et al. Murray & Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2010:chap 32.
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