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Pleurisy (cont.)

When to Seek Medical Care

Talk with your doctor about any chest pain that worries you. Many causes of chest pain are dangerous and even life-threatening.

  • If you have high fever, shaking chills, and a cough that produces thick green or yellow sputum, you may have pneumonia. Talk to your doctor, who may want you to have a chest x-ray.
  • Your risk of having another disease along with pleurisy increases with your age and the presence of other serious medical conditions such as heart disease, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, and collagen vascular diseases.
  • If you have a swollen leg or arm along with pleurisy, you may have a deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolus. This is a blood clot in a vein that has broken off and traveled to your lungs.

You should almost always see a doctor for new chest pain, especially if you are very short of breath, have a high fever, or feel lightheaded or if the pain keeps you from moving around comfortably.

If you are in severe distress, call 911 immediately for ambulance transport to the nearest hospital's emergency department.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/9/2014
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