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Pneumocystis Jiroveci Pneumonia

AMBULATORY CARE:

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.

Common signs and symptoms:

If you have AIDS, you may have worsening breathing problems or fast breathing. You may have a worsening cough with or without mucus. You may also have a fever, chills, weakness, or fatigue. If you do not have AIDS, you may have any of the following:

  • Fever or chest pain
  • Dry cough that may progress to a cough with mucus
  • Trouble breathing
  • Fast breathing and heartbeat

Seek care immediately 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.

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.

Treatment:

If you have other medical conditions and poor health, you will need to stay in a hospital for treatment. Your healthcare provider will treat conditions that weaken your immune system. You may need to stop taking certain medicines or getting treatments that weaken your immune system. You may need any of the following:

  • Antibiotics prevent or fight a bacterial infection.
  • Steroids help reduce swelling. This may help you breathe more easily.
  • 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.

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.

Oxygen:

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.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

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.

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