Pneumonia

  • Alternative Names

    Bronchopneumonia; Community-acquired pneumonia


    Symptoms

    The most common symptoms of pneumonia are:

    • Cough (with some pneumonias you may cough up greenish or yellow mucus, or even bloody mucus)
    • Fever, which may be mild or high
    • Shaking chills
    • Shortness of breath (may only occur when you climb stairs)

    Additional symptoms include:

    • Confusion, especially in older people
    • Excessive sweating and clammy skin
    • Headache
    • Loss of appetite, low energy, and fatigue
    • Sharp or stabbing chest pain that gets worse when you breathe deeply or cough

    Signs and tests

    If you have pneumonia, you may be working hard to breathe, or breathing fast.

    Crackles are heard when listening to your chest with a stethoscope. Other abnormal breathing sounds may also be heard through the stethoscope or via percussion (tapping on your chest wall).

    The health care provider will likely order a chest x-ray if pneumonia is suspected.

    Some patients may need other tests, including:

    • Arterial blood gases to see if enough oxygen is getting into your blood from the lungs
    • CBC to check white blood cell count
    • CT scan of the chest
    • Gram's stain and culture of your sputum to look for the organism causing your symptoms
    • Pleural fluid culture if there is fluid in the space surrounding the lungs