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WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Pneumonia is an infection in your lungs caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungus. You can become infected if you come in contact with someone who is sick. You can get pneumonia if you recently had surgery or needed a ventilator to help you breathe. Pneumonia can also be caused by accidentally inhaling saliva or small pieces of food. Pneumonia may cause mild symptoms, or it can be severe and life-threatening.
CARE AGREEMENT:You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.
Pneumonia increases your risk for breathing problems. The infection can spread to other areas of your body. Pus or extra fluid may pool in the space around your lungs, or your lungs may become badly damaged. You may not be able to get enough oxygen if your lungs are inflamed or damaged. Low oxygen levels can damage other organs, such as your kidneys, heart, and brain.
WHILE YOU ARE HERE:
- Antibiotics are given to treat a bacterial infection.
- Acetaminophen may be given to decrease pain.
- Pulse oximetry measures the amount of oxygen in your blood.
- Blood and urine tests may show signs of an infection or the bacteria causing your pneumonia. Blood tests can also show how much oxygen is in your blood.
- A chest x-ray or CT scan may show signs of infection in your lungs.
- A mucus sample is collected and tested for the germ that is causing your illness. It can help your healthcare provider choose the best medicine to treat the infection.
- Airway clearance techniques are exercises to help remove mucus so you can breathe more easily. Your healthcare provider will show you how to do the exercises. These exercises may be used along with machines or devices to help decrease your symptoms.
- Respiratory support is given to help you breathe. You may receive oxygen to increase the level of oxygen in your blood. You may also need a machine to help you breathe.
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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.