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Bacterial Pneumonia (cont.)

Bacterial Pneumonia Medical Treatment and Antibiotics

  • Patients with bacterial pneumonia will need to take an antibiotic. The antibiotic choice depends on the patient's age, any chronic medical conditions, tobacco and alcohol use, and other medications the patient is taking. The patient should tell the doctor about any allergies or reactions to any medicines he or she taken previously, and bring a list of all current medicines to the doctor's office or hospital.
  • Drink plenty of nonalcoholic fluids to stay hydrated. This helps the body fight pneumonia. Anti-fever medicines such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) may also help the patient feel better.
  • Coughing helps clear infection in the lungs, so the doctor may recommend a cough suppressant.
  • Avoid cigarette or other tobacco smoke while recovering from pneumonia. Smoking suppresses the body's ability to fight infection and extends the healing process.
  • The patient may be admitted to the hospital if he or she is severely short of breath or if has significantly lowered oxygen levels in the bloodstream. During hospitalization the patient will receive supplemental oxygen to assist breathing. The patient also may receive antibiotics via an IV catheter through a vein.
  • In cases of severe pneumonia the patient may require a breathing tube in the windpipe so that a machine can breathe for them. If the patient needs a breathing machine, he or she will be admitted to an intensive-care unit in the hospital.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/22/2013

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