Pneumonia is an inflammatory condition of the lung affecting primarily the microscopic air sacs known as alveoli. It is usually caused by infection with viruses or bacteria and less commonly other microorganisms, certain drugs and other conditions such as autoimmune diseases.
- 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, which may only occur when you climb stairs
Additional symptoms include:
- Sharp or stabbing chest pain that gets worse when you breathe deeply or cough
- Excessive sweating and clammy skin
- Loss of appetite, low energy, and fatigue
- Confusion, especially in older people
Most people can be treated at home by following these steps:
- Drink plenty of fluids to help loosen secretions and bring up phlegm.
- Get lots of rest. Have someone else do household chores.
- Do not take cough medicines without first talking to your doctor. Cough medicines may make it harder for your body to cough up the extra sputum.
- Control your fever with aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen or naproxen), or acetaminophen. DO NOT give aspirin to children.
You are more likely to be admitted to the hospital if you:
- Have another serious medical problem
- Have severe symptoms
- Are unable to care for yourself at home, or are unable to eat or drink
- Are older than 65 or a young child
- Have been taking antibiotics at home and are not getting better
Nursing Diagnosis for Pneumonia
1. Ineffective Airway Clearance
2. Impaired Gas Exchange
3. Risk for Deficient Fluid Volume
4. Imbalanced Nutrition
5. Acute Pain
6. Activity Intolerance
7. Risk for Infection