What is hospital-acquired pneumonia?

Hospital-Acquired Pneumonia

What are the symptoms of hospital-acquired pneumonia?

Symptoms include a cough that may produce mucus, a fever, and shortness of breath. You may feel very tired. Symptoms can start 2 days or more after you go into the hospital. They may also start shortly after being sent home.

How is hospital-acquired pneumonia treated?

Most types of hospital-acquired pneumonia are treated with an antibiotic that kills many types of bacteria. This may happen before your doctor knows which type of bacteria caused your infection. Your antibiotic may be changed after tests show which bacteria you have. You may also be given fluids through a vein (I.V.) and oxygen.

How is hospital-acquired pneumonia diagnosed?

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and past health. They will do a physical exam and listen to your lungs.

If your doctor thinks that you have this condition, a chest X-ray will be ordered. If needed, more imaging tests may be done. Your doctor may also check a sample of your mucus and may order blood tests.

How can you care for yourself when you have hospital-acquired pneumonia?

Take your antibiotics exactly as directed. Don't stop taking them just because you are feeling better. And get plenty of rest and fluids. You may feel tired for a while, but your energy should improve with time. Stay up to date on your COVID-19 vaccinations. Get a yearly flu vaccine and a pneumococcal vaccine.

What puts you at risk for hospital-acquired pneumonia?

You can get hospital-acquired pneumonia when you are in a hospital. You are more likely to get it if you:

  • Have another serious condition, especially another lung disease, such as COPD.
  • Aren't eating enough healthy foods and are malnourished.
  • Have a weak immune system.
  • Have been in the hospital for a long time.
  • Are taking many antibiotics.
  • Are 55 or older.

What increases your risk of getting hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP)?

You're more likely to get HAP if:

  • You have another serious condition, especially another lung disease, such as COPD.
  • You don't eat enough healthy foods.
  • You have a weak immune system.
  • You've been in the hospital.
  • You took antibiotics recently.
  • You are age 55 or older.

What is hospital-acquired pneumonia?

Hospital-acquired pneumonia is pneumonia that you get when you are in a hospital. It also can happen to people who have been on a machine to help them breathe (ventilator). This pneumonia is often caused by different bacteria than the ones that usually cause pneumonia.

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The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.

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