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Pneumocystis Jiroveci Pneumonia
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia (PJP) is a lung infection caused by the Pneumocystis jiroveci fungus. PJP is most often seen in people with a weak immune system. PJP is an opportunistic infection. This means that when your immune system is not working well, it cannot fight off the fungus.
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- Antibiotics prevent or fight a bacterial infection.
- Steroids help reduce swelling. This may help you breathe more easily.
- Blood tests are used to check your blood for signs of infection.
- A sputum sample may be tested for the fungus that causes PJP.
- X-ray or CT scan pictures may be taken of your lungs and your airway. The pictures may be used to check for damage or other problems.
- Pulmonary function tests (PFTs) help healthcare providers learn how well your body uses oxygen. You breathe into a mouthpiece connected to a machine. The machine measures how much air you breathe in and out over a certain amount of time.
- Extra oxygen may be needed to help you breathe easier. It may be given through a plastic mask over your mouth and nose, or it may be given through nasal prongs. These are short, thin tubes that rest just inside your nose.
- A ventilator is a machine that gives you oxygen and breathes for you when you cannot breathe well on your own. An endotracheal (ET) tube is put into your mouth or nose and attached to the ventilator. You may need a trach if an ET tube cannot be placed. A trach is a tube put through an incision and into your windpipe.
PJP may make it difficult to breathe. You may need a machine to help you breathe until the infection is treated. Even after treatment, some germs may be left in your airway. These germs may cause another infection. PJP can weaken your body and cause you to have more infections.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.