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Healthcare-associated pneumonia (nosocomial pneumonia) is
pneumonia that you get when you are in a hospital or
nursing home. Experts generally consider it a more serious illness than
pneumonia that people get in daily life (community-associated pneumonia). This is
because the person with healthcare-associated pneumonia may already have a
serious illness. Healthcare-associated pneumonia is also often caused by
bacteria other than Streptococcus pneumoniae, which
causes most cases of pneumonia. These other bacteria may be stronger and more
resistant to antibiotics than S. pneumoniae. So healthcare-associated pneumonia may be harder to treat.
You are more likely to get healthcare-associated pneumonia if you:
Symptoms of healthcare-associated pneumonia include:
It is important to diagnose the condition quickly. If your
doctor thinks you have healthcare-associated pneumonia, you will have a chest
X-ray. And your doctor will examine a sample of your
mucus and blood.
Doctors use antibiotics to treat healthcare-associated pneumonia. Your
doctor will probably give you an antibiotic that kills many different bacteria
(wide-spectrum) immediately, before he or she can identify the type of bacteria
causing the infection. After your doctor knows the specific type of bacteria, he
or she may change your antibiotic to target it.
March 6, 2013
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & R. Steven Tharratt, MD, MPVM, FACP, FCCP - Pulmonology, Critical Care Medicine, Medical Toxicology
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