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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.
Return to the emergency department if:
- You cough up blood.
- You have severe pain in your chest or trouble breathing.
- Your lips or fingernails turn blue.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You have a fever.
- Your skin is itchy, or you have a rash.
- You have chills, or feel weak or achy.
- You have new signs or symptoms.
- You have trouble sleeping.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
You may need any of the following:
- Antibiotics fight or prevent a bacterial infection.
- Steroids help reduce inflammation in your lungs. It may be given if you do not have enough oxygen in your blood. If you use this medicine, you may be less likely to need a machine to help you breathe.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
You may need to follow up with your healthcare provider to get vaccinations. An influenza vaccine is recommended yearly, and a pneumococcal vaccine every 5 years. Ask your healthcare provider for more information on these vaccines. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your follow-up visits.
Do not smoke:
Nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes and cigars can cause lung damage. Ask your healthcare provider for information if you currently smoke and need help to quit. E-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco still contain nicotine. Talk to your healthcare provider before you use these products.
You may need extra oxygen 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. Tell your healthcare provider if your nose gets dry or if you get redness or sores on your skin. Never smoke or let anyone else smoke in the same room while your oxygen is on. Doing so may cause a fire.
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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.