When Would I Need To Be Hospitalized For Pneumonia
If your case of pneumonia is more severe, you may need tostay in the hospital for treatment. Hospital treatments may include:
- Fluids, antibiotics and other medicines given through an IV
- Breathing treatments and exercises to help loosen mucus
People most likely to be hospitalized are those who are most frail and/or at increased risk, including:
- Babies and young children
- People with weakened immune systems
- People with health conditions that affect the heart and lungs
It may take six to eight weeks to return to a normal level of functioning and well-being if youve been hospitalized with pneumonia.
Urgent Advice: Get Urgent Medical Attention If:
- you have severe symptoms such as rapid breathing, chest pain or confusion
Pneumonia affects around 8 in 1,000 adults each year. It’s more widespread in autumn and winter.
Pneumonia can affect people of any age. It’s more common and can be more serious in certain groups of people, such as the very young or the elderly. People in these groups may need hospital treatment if they develop pneumonia.
How Can I Avoid Getting Pneumonia
To help prevent pneumonia, do the following:
- Get the flu vaccination every year it can help prevent pneumonia caused by the flu virus. Read more about the flu vaccine.
- Get a pneumococcal vaccination this vaccine is especially recommended for anyone at high risk of pneumococcal pneumonia. Read more about pneumococcal vaccine.
- Stop smoking smoking damages your lung’s ability to fight infection. Read more about tips to quit smoking.
- Wash your hands often or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
- Stay rested and fit.
- Stay home when you’re sick.
- Avoid people who have a cold or the flu.
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Bacterial Vs Viral Pneumonia Symptoms
Bacteria and viruses are the most common causes of pneumonia. Fungi and parasites can sometimes cause it.
When the cause is bacteria, the illness can come on either slowly or quickly. It tends to be more serious than other types.
When a virus causes your pneumonia, youâre more likely to notice symptoms over several days. Early signs will look like the flu — such as fever, dry cough, headache, and weakness — but get worse in a day or two.
Questions About Your Symptoms
Bacterial pneumonia, which is the most common form, tends to be more serious than other types of pneumonia, with symptoms that require medical care. The symptoms of bacterial pneumonia can develop gradually or suddenly. Fever may rise as high as a dangerous 105 degrees F, with profuse sweating and rapidly increased breathing and pulse rate. Lips and nailbeds may have a bluish color due to lack of oxygen in the blood. A patient’s mental state may be confused or delirious.
The symptoms of viral pneumonia usually develop over a period of several days. Early symptoms are similar to influenza symptoms: fever, a dry cough, headache, muscle pain, and weakness. Within a day or two, the symptoms typically get worse, with increasing cough, shortness of breath and muscle pain. There may be a high fever and there may be blueness of the lips.
Symptoms may vary in certain populations. Newborns and infants may not show any signs of the infection. Or, they may vomit, have a fever and cough, or appear restless, sick, or tired and without energy. Older adults and people who have serious illnesses or weak immune systems may have fewer and milder symptoms. They may even have a lower than normal temperature. Older adults who have pneumonia sometimes have sudden changes in mental awareness. For individuals that already have a chronic lung disease, those symptoms may worsen.
When to call a doctor
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What Is The Connection Between Influenza And Pneumonia
Influenza is a virus that is responsible for causing many respiratory symptoms. Most of the time, these symptoms are mild. However, in some cases, influenza can be a causal agent of viral cases of pneumonia. It especially causes pneumonia in small children under 5 years old. Although influenza doesnt cause pneumonia all the time, it can be very serious and difficult to treat once it occurs. The best way to prevent influenza pneumonia is through the flu vaccine.
How People With Copd Can Prevent Pneumonia
The pneumonia vaccine is a standard vaccination that most people in the US receive as children, but most adults need to get a second pneumonia vaccination after the age of 65. However, you might need to get your second dose earlier than that if you smoke, have COPD, or have other health problems that make you vulnerable to infection .
It’s important to know that the pneumonia vaccine can only prevent bacterial pneumonia it can’t protect you from viral or fungal pneumonia infections. However, it still offers significant protection from more than a dozen different types of pneumonia-causing bacteria, including some of the most common and most severe types.
The pneumonia vaccine can be life-savingand even more so for people who are susceptible to respiratory illnesseswhich is why it’s vital not to skip that second dose in older age. If you’re an older adult with COPD and you haven’t gotten your second pneumonia vaccination yet, make sure to talk your doctor about when you should get the vaccine.
You should also be diligent about keeping up with other vaccinations, especially your yearly flu shot, which can help prevent viral pneumonia as well as secondary bacterial pneumonia infections caused by the flu. Despite common misconceptions, the flu vaccine is effective and worthwhile, and it can help prevent secondary pneumonia infections that can be brought on by the flu.
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Extra Pneumonia Risks Associated With Copd
Studies show that people with existing lung problems like COPD tend to have more severe breathing problems and more pneumonia complications than healthy adults. That’s because the detrimental effects that pneumonia has on the lungs stack onto the existing lung problems that people with COPD and other lung diseases already have.
For example, lungs affected by COPD have damaged air sacs that are unable to absorb oxygen as efficiently as they should. Pneumonia infections cause these already-impaired air sacs to fill up with fluid, which makes it even harder for them to function and absorb adequate amounts of oxygen.
When the lungs are already weakened by COPD, that could be all the pressure it takes to push the lungs below the threshold where they can no longer function well enough to keep up with the body’s oxygen needs. When this happens, blood oxygen levels drop, and COPD patients who already struggle with low oxygen levels may be more likely to experience serious complications as a result.
These complications include unhealthily-low blood oxygen levels and severe breathing symptoms that result from that hypoxemia. It can also cause a more serious condition known as hypoxia, a life-threatening condition that happens when the body’s vital organs are starved of oxygen, which can lead to organ failure and death without proper treatment.
Symptoms of a Medical Emergency:
|Chest x-ray showing pneumonia|
Cough And Cold Medicines
Be careful with cough and cold medicines. They may not be safe for young children or for people who have certain health problems, so check the label first. If you do use these medicines, always follow the directions about how much to use based on age and weight.
Always check to see if any over-the-counter cough or cold medicines you are taking contain acetaminophen. If they do, make sure the acetaminophen you are taking in your cold medicine plus any other acetaminophen you may be taking is not higher than the daily recommended dose. Ask your doctor or pharmacist how much you can take every day.
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Drink A Cup Of Coffee
Drinking a cup of coffee may also help relieve shortness of breath. Caffeine may help widen the airways, and a 2021 review even suggested that consuming it could help soothe some COVID-19 symptoms and work against SARS-CoV-2.
Caffeines half-life is 3-5 hours, meaning that your body gets rid of half the caffeine content in this time. If caffeine helps to widen your airways, this is the amount of time its likely to have its most noticeable effects.
Chest pain may come on suddenly or over the course of several days. You should expect some chest pain or ache if you get pneumonia. With treatment, any chest pain typically subsides within 4 weeks.
Medical History And Physical Exam
- Exposure to sick people at home, school, or work or in a hospital
- Flu or pneumonia vaccinations
- Exposure to birds and other animals
During your physical exam, your doctor will check your temperature and listen to your lungs with a stethoscope.
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Are There Treatments For Covid
Clinical trials are looking into whether some drugs and treatments used for other conditions might treat severe COVID-19 or related pneumonia, including dexamethasone, a corticosteroid.
The FDA has approved the antiviral remdesivir for treatment of patients hospitalized with COVID. The drug was origininally developed to treat the Ebola virus.
Can You Catch Pneumonia More Than Once
Yes. Pneumonia is caused by many different microbes, and so getting it once does not protect you from getting it again. If you get pneumonia more than once you may need to have more investigations to understand why this has happened. It could be due to a problem in your chest or your immune system, and you may be referred to a specialist.
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Other Ways To Prevent Pneumonia
You can take the following steps to help prevent pneumonia:
- Wash your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizers to kill germs.
- Dont smoke. Smoking prevents your lungs from properly filtering out and defending your body against germs. For information about how to quit smoking, visit Smoking and Your Heart and Your Guide to a Healthy Heart. These resources include basic information about how to quit smoking. For free help and support, you may call the National Cancer Institutes Smoking Quitline at 1-877-44U-QUIT .
- Keep your immune system strong. Get plenty of physical activity and follow a healthy eating plan. Read more about heart-healthy living.
- If you have problems swallowing, eat smaller meals of thickened foodand sleep with the head of your bed raised up. These steps can help you avoid getting food, drink, or saliva into your lungs.
- If you have a planned surgery, your doctor may recommend that you dont eat for 8 hours or drink liquids for 2 hours before your surgery. This can help prevent food or drink from getting into your airway while you are sedated.
- If your immune system is impaired or weakened, your doctor may recommend you take antibiotics to prevent bacteria from growing in your lungs.
Do You Have To Be Hospitalized With Pneumonia
Not always. In fact, most of the patients can be treated with outpatient medical treatment. But, of course, this depends on the severity of the case. Also, if you have several risks factors for developing a severe case of pneumonia, you may get hospitalized. This ensures close medical surveillance.
Moreover, you can be hospitalized if you have shortness of breath to receive oxygen. The hospitalized patient will receive antibiotics or treatment through an IV directly to your blood. Keep in mind that hospitalization can be very useful, not a sign of imminent death.
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Drink A Cup Of Ginger Tea
Ginger has also demonstrated anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties in recent research . As with turmeric, current research on ginger hasnt looked at whether it helps specifically with chest pain, but its a harmless, hydrating way to try and soothe the uncomfortable effects of pneumonia.
Your fever may develop suddenly or over the course of a few days. With treatment, it should subside within the week.
What Is The Outlook For Pneumonia
People who are otherwise healthy often recover quickly when given prompt and proper care. However, pneumonia is a serious condition and can be life-threatening if left untreated and especially for those individuals at increased risk for pneumonia.
Even patients who have been successfully treated and have fully recovered may face long-term health issues. Children who have recovered from pneumonia have an increased risk of chronic lung diseases. Adults may experience:
- General decline in quality of life for months or years
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What Are Signs And Symptoms Of Pneumonia
1. Constitutional symptoms like body ache, fever with chills and rigours, night sweats, disorientation and confusion in elderly patients.2. A cough with expectoration which is purulent or containing blood.4. Pain in the affected part of the lungs on breathing or coughing.5. Occasionally nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite may be present.
What Is Walking Pneumonia
- The causative organism is Mycoplasma pneumonia.
- It is transmitted from person to person by droplet infection. It can affect people of all ages.
- Walking pneumonia occurs commonly in closed environments like colleges, classrooms and hospitals.
- Signs and symptoms of this type of pneumonia develop slowly over a period of few days to months and can be treated on the basis of out-patient department treatment.
- Symptoms initially appear like the common cold. A cough is dry and unproductive.
Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Himanshi is a Homoeopathic consultant and currently working as a lecturer in Post-graduate faculty of Homeopathy, Parul University, Vadodara. Completed BHMS and MD in Homeopathy in January 2018 and also has a clinical experience of about 6 years. Personal interests include reading, spending time with family and traveling.
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What Does Pneumonia Feel Like
Not everyone feels the same when they have pneumonia, but there arecore signs you can look out for, such as feeling like you’re out of breath,generally feeling tired or sleepy and sharp, stabbing chest pain. Note, however,that “walking pneumonia” might not have obvious symptoms or justsymptoms of a common cold.
Can Bronchitis Turn Into Pneumonia
Yes. Bronchitis can turn into pneumonia
- Causative organisms which infect the bronchi can potentially affect even the alveoli.
- This is because alveoli are responsible for gaseous exchange and are surrounded extensively by blood vessels and capillaries.
- The entire respiratory system is also surrounded by lymphatics.
- Any infective organisms can travel to the alveoli via blood or lymph.
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Pneumonia Vs Cold And Flu Symptoms
Itâs tricky, because pneumonia can be a complication of colds and flu. This happens when the germs that cause those common illnesses get into your lungs. You might be feeling better, but then you start getting symptoms again — and this time, they can be a lot worse.
The top clue that you have the flu is that the symptoms come on strong, seemingly out of nowhere. You may have:
- Fever above 100.4 F
What Color Mucus Is From Pneumonia
The color of phlegm or mucus may vary in different cases of pneumonia. The mucus present in pneumonia can go from clear to yellow/green or even brown or pink in some cases.
Sometimes, the color of the mucus can orientate the diagnosis to whats causing the infection. So, dont be shy to describe your mucus to your doctor. Most of the time, a clear mucus corresponds to viral infections. On the other side, yellow/green mucus is commonly seen in bacterial infections. Finally, pink phlegm can be this color because of the presence of blood in it. This can happen because of a severe infection or even lung cancer.
Can a cold of flu turn into pneumonia?
The vast set of viruses implicated in the common cold similarly can cause CAP. It is unlikely to see a common cold progressing from the upper airway to the inferior part until it converts into a full pneumonia infection, though. What, indeed, is a very common case. It is to see after a viral infection like the common cold or the flu. A new bacterial infection in the lungs produces bacterial pneumonia.
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What Is Considered Severe Pneumonia
It is considered severe pneumonia when other organs like kidneys, heart, or the circulatory system have a high chance of failing. In order to stage the severity of pneumonia, doctors use a scale called CURB-65. This scale takes into account various factors and doctors use it to predict pneumonia severity and mortality. The parameters that CURB-65 uses are the following:
- Confusion: Or altered mental status
- BUN greater than 19mg/dl
- Respiratory rate of 30 breaths per minute or more
- Blood pressure: less than 90/60 mmHg
- Age 65 years or older
Each parameter equal to 1 point. The punctuation will determine how the patient is treated and their chance of developing complications and dying.
From 0-1 points, the patient can have outpatient treatment. At 2 points, doctors should consider a short hospitalization for treatment and surveillance. And from 3 to 5 points, the patient needs hospitalization and a possible ICU hospitalization. A CURB-65 score of 3-5 is considered severe pneumonia. For this group of patients, the possibility of dying goes from 17% to more than 50%.