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How to Spot Signs of Pneumonia

More than 50,000 Americans lose their lives every year due to complications of pneumonia. Unfortunately, pneumonia can be difficult for physicians to diagnose. The symptoms of the illness will often mimic the flu starting with a fever, cough and severe chest pain. Therefore, a person may not realize the seriousness of their condition. Pneumonia tends to be more severe in people with a weakened immune system or those who suffer from a chronic illness. Also, the elderly and infants are at a greater risk of developing the illness. Since many forms of bacterial pneumonia are becoming resistant to antibiotic treatments, it is imperative that you visit your doctor immediately if you spot the signs of pneumonia in yourself or your family.

Read more: How to Spot Signs of Pneumonia |


Things You'll Need:

  • Physician
  • Chest x-ray
  • Thermometer
  1. 1

    Be aware of a cough that produces a yellow or greenish sputum which may be tinged with blood at times. A persistent cough warrants a trip to the physician as many types of pneumonia can be difficult to diagnose without a chest x-ray.

  2. 2

    Pay attention to any stabbing or sharp chest pain that worsens with deep breathing may appear along with rapid breathing and shortness of breath. This type of pain usually appears when the outer pleural of the lung is involved.

  3. 3

    Check for a fever accompanied by excessive sweating, headache and extreme fatigue. There are more than forty different types of pneumonia, and many of them begin with a high fever followed by chest pain.

  4. 4

    Watch for signs of skin discoloration when a person is suffering from a cough accompanied by chest pain. A purple or bluish tint to the skin could mean that the blood is not receiving enough oxygen.

  5. 5

    Look for symptoms of severe pneumonia. There are many different kinds of pneumonia that can be life threatening if left untreated. A fever that rises above 104 degrees F, a pulse that is greater than 124 beats per minutes at rest and a decrease in blood pressure that causes fainting, require immediate medical attention.

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Tips & Warnings

  • See your physician immediately if you are pregnant and suffering with cold or flu symptoms.
  • Due to the growing strains of drug resistant pneumonia, it is best to prevent the infection by seeing your doctor at the first signs of a cold or flu.
  • Never ignore a cough that produces yellow, green or rust-colored mucus as it is a sign of a serious infection.

Read more: How to Spot Signs of Pneumonia |

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