As we move into the fall and winter season, I will see more patients that have or recently, have had what they will describe as pneumonia. There are two large classifications of pneumonia, those that occur in the hospital and those that occur in the community. The community variety is referred to as CAP or community acquired pneumonia.

A true pneumonia is a significant illness. Those pneumonias that occur in the hospital have a high mortality but those that occur in the community can be serious as well. Often patients do not really understand what the diagnosis of pneumonia means and how it is diagnosed. Many patients with community acquired pneumonia end up being admitted to the hospital.

When a patient has a pneumonia, it is not just a bad “cold”. A pneumonia is an infection in the tissue of the lungs, and it can cause problems with shortness of breath, pain and can lead to sepsis. To make the diagnosis correctly a chest xray or cat scan of the chest is necessary to confirm the presence of the infection in the lung tissue.

This limited space does not allow me to provide more important information about pneumonia. Consider listening to my monthly radio broadcast on WRTA at 2:00 pm on September 19th where I will be discussing pneumonia in more detail. That is September 19th on WRTA 98.5 FM or 1240 AM at 2:00pm. I hope to give your more detail to improve your understanding and health.