Pneumonia can be treated successfully with medication. However, some people, especially those in high-risk groups, may experience complications, including:
March 14, 2015
- Bacteria in the bloodstream (bacteremia). Bacteria that enter the bloodstream from your lungs can spread the infection to other organs, potentially causing organ failure.
- Lung abscess. An abscess occurs if pus forms in a cavity in the lung. An abscess is usually treated with antibiotics. Sometimes, surgery or drainage with a long needle or tube placed into the abscess is needed to remove the pus.
- Fluid accumulation around your lungs (pleural effusion). Pneumonia may cause fluid to build up in the thin space between layers of tissue that line the lungs and chest cavity (pleura). If the fluid becomes infected, you may need to have it drained through a chest tube or removed with surgery.
- Difficulty breathing. If your pneumonia is severe or you have chronic underlying lung diseases, you may have trouble breathing in enough oxygen. You may need to be hospitalized and use a breathing machine (ventilator) while your lung heals.
- Pneumonia. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/pnu. Accessed Jan. 20, 2015.
- AskMayoExpert. Community-acquired pneumonia. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2015.
- Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill; 2012. http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/book.aspx?bookid=331. Accessed Jan. 21, 2015.
- Schauner S, et al. Community-acquired pneumonia in children: A look at the IDSA guidelines. Journal of Family Practice. 2013;62:9.
- Attridge RT, et al. Health care-associated pneumonia: An evidence-based review. American Journal of Medicine. 2011;124:689.
- Hunter JD. Ventilator associated pneumonia. BMJ. 2012;344:e3325.
- Dockrell DH, et al. Pneumococcal pneumonia: Mechanisms of infection and resolution. Chest. 2012;142:482.
- Reynolds RH, et al. Pneumonia in the immunocompetent patient. The British Journal of Radiology. 2010;83:998.
- Rosenow EC (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 20, 2015.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Adults: Protect yourself with pneumococcal vaccines. http://www.cdc.gov/features/adult-pneumococcal/. Accessed Jan. 20, 2015.
- Marrie TJ, et al. Pneumococcal pneumonia in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 20, 2015.
- Barbara Woodward Lips Patient Education Center. Care following hospitalization for community-acquired pneumonia. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2013.
- AskMayoExpert. Community-acquired pneumonia (pediatric). Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2014.
- Barson WJ. Community-acquired pneumonia in children: Outpatient treatment. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 21, 2015.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.