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In the News Understanding Pneumonia – Part II

Written by Lisa Jillanza

(continued from Part I…)

What are the risk factors?

  • Age - the most vulnerable are children below 2 years and adults above 65 years.
  • Hospitalized in intensive care unit and if on support of ventilator for a prolonged period.
  • Lung diseases such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can increase the risk.
  • Poor immune system - persons with weak immune system due to conditions such as HIV/AIDS, Cancer or undergone organ transplants. 

How is pneumonia diagnosed? 

Diagnosis is done by reviewing medical history, physical examination, and lab tests to confirm the condition.

What tests and procedures are typically run on someone who may have pneumonia?

X-ray: Chest X-ray is taken to check the presence of infection.

Blood culture: To check the presence of infection and identify the causative organism.

Sputum culture test: To confirm the cause of infection.

Urine test: Bacterial infection of streptococcus pneumonia and legionella pneumoniphila can be identified.

Pulse oximetry: To measure oxygen flow to the lungs.

CT scan: CT scan of chest is performed to detect the severity of infection.

Bronchoscopy: A camera fitted tube is inserted into the lungs to look into the airways and to sample out via bronchial wash helping in diagnosing the causative agent. 

If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the signs or symptoms of pneumonia, please seek medical attention. Pneumonia can be fatal if left untreated.