The doctor should examine the medical history and conduct a medical examination, including listening to the lungs.
If you suspect pneumonia, the doctor usually performs the following tests:
Blood tests are used to confirm the infection and determine the type of microorganisms that cause the infection. However, accurate identification is not always possible. Elevated white blood cells in the general blood test and C-reactive protein in the biochemical analysis indirectly indicate the presence of bacterial inflammation in the body.
Chest X-ray. This allows the doctor to determine the localization of lung inflammation.
Pulse oximetry-measurement of the level of oxygen in the blood. Pneumonia disrupts gas exchange in the lungs.
Sputum analysis. A sample of the discharge from the lungs (sputum) is taken after a deep cough and analyzed to help pinpoint the causative agent of the infection.
The doctor may prescribe additional tests if the patient is over 65 years old, is in the hospital, or has serious symptoms or health problems. These may include:
Computed tomography. Layer-by-layer examination of the lung tissue to obtain a more detailed image of the lungs.
Puncture of the pleural cavity. If fluid is detected in the pleural cavity, it is extracted by inserting a needle between the ribs into the pleural cavity, the cell composition is examined in the resulting fluid and sown on special media, trying to identify the pathogen.
Treatment of pneumonia
Treatment of pneumonia is aimed at suppressing infection and preventing complications. People with community-acquired pneumonia can usually be treated at home with medication. Most of the symptoms disappear after a few days or weeks, and the feeling of fatigue may persist for a month or more.
Specific treatment methods depend on the type of pathogen and the severity of the pneumonia, the age and general health of the patient. Options include:
Antibiotics. These medications are used to treat bacterial pneumonia. Usually, before receiving the results of a microbiological examination, a broad-spectrum antibiotic is prescribed. It may take time to determine the type of bacteria that causes pneumonia and choose the appropriate antibiotic for treatment. If the patient's condition does not improve, usually within 2-3 days, the antibiotic is changed.
Cough medicine. Since coughing helps to remove phlegm from the lungs, it is not necessary to completely get rid of the cough. Also, you should know that very few studies have focused on the effectiveness of over-the-counter cough medicines. If you decide to take a cough medicine, then use the lowest possible dose that will help you rest. Separately, we should mention expectorant drugs that facilitate the discharge of sputum, do not inhibit the cough reflex.
Antipyretics/Painkillers. You can take them as needed to reduce the high temperature and reduce discomfort in the chest with chest pain. These include medications such as paracetamol, aspirin, Ibuprofen, and other anti-inflammatory drugs.