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Patients With Pneumonia Often Require Emergency Care

Pneumonia is an often serious lung infection that causes the lung’s air sacs to become inflamed. If you have it, you need to be under a doctor’s care. While your primary care provider can treat mild to moderate symptoms, you need to visit the emergency room if you have severe symptoms or are likely to develop serious complications. With around 50,000 deaths attributed to this infection each year, you do not want to delay seeking emergency treatment. Timely treatment can also help you avoid lung abscesses, sepsis, and respiratory failure.

Signs of Pneumonia

You should contact your doctor if you have any of these symptoms. The most common signs include:

  • Sweating, fever, and chills
  • Breathing problems and shortness of breath
  • Chest pain that intensifies when breathing and coughing
  • Nausea and vomiting

Your primary care provider can help you manage these mild to moderate symptoms so you can avoid complications.

Go to the ER With These Symptoms

Unfortunately, this infection can progress quickly and turn into a severe illness. First, go to the ER if you are in a high-risk group for developing complications. High-risk groups include:

  • Pediatric patients under the age of 2
  • People over the age of 65
  • Those who are immunosuppressed or have other pre-existing conditions

Even if you aren’t in a high-risk group, you can get this lung infection. Monitor your symptoms and go to the ER if:

  • You have trouble breathing, or your breathing is rapid.
  • Blood or pus comes out when you cough.
  • Your fever won’t go down.
  • Your chest pain is severe.
  • You are dizzy or confused.
  • Your skin, fingernails, or lips look blue.
  • You cannot stop vomiting.

Is It Contagious?

If you developed the illness due to a fungal infection, others can’t catch it. However, both viral and bacterial pneumonia is highly contagious. You can spread these infections by transferring germs onto objects or coughing and sneezing.

Should I Get the Pneumonia Vaccine?

There are two vaccines available. The CDC recommends the PCV13 vaccine for kids under the age of two and those with specific medical conditions.

Then, the CDC recommends that adults 65 get the PPSV23 vaccine. It is also administered to smokers aged 19 and up and children aged two and older who have certain medical conditions.

If you meet the requirements, the vaccine can help you avoid severe infection. Speak to your provider about getting the pneumonia vaccine.

If you have pneumonia, take the condition seriously. Your doctor can help you manage mild to moderate symptoms but go to the ER immediately if you have severe symptoms.