Pneumonia is a common infection. Consider this diagnosis in patients presenting with sepsis, chest pain or dyspnoea. It is also a common secondary problem in patients with chronic lung disease.
- Clinical examination may suggest pneumonia however, it is too insensitive to exclude the diagnosis.
- Imaging of the chest is required to diagnose and detect complications of pneumonia eg. effusion, abscess, underlying malignancy or tuberculosis
- Therapy for pneumonia should be determined by the use of a pneumonia severity index such as CURB-65 or SMART-COP
- Use the Therapeutics Guidelines to choose appropriate antibiotics for various patient populations. Consider melioidosis in tropical areas of Western Australia.
- Patients with severe disease should be screened for sepsis and discussed with senior doctor / HDU
- Consider EARLY non-invasive ventilation OR humidified, high-flow nasal cannulae in patient with evidence of respiratory failure