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

Pneumonia Management Algorithm (click)