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Man with chest pain

Chest Infections and Pneumonia

A chest infection can last a few days but it can turn into Pneumonia with devastating consequences.  Getting a fast diagnosis and starting treatment can make all the difference.

What is Pneumonia?

Pneumonia is a severe form of Chest Infection.  We all breathe in viruses and bacteria, some are more dangerous or virulent than others. How ill we become also depends on our immune system or our ability to fight infection.  When the infection passes from the bronchial tubes into the air sacs (alveoli) and fluid builds up in the lung then this is pneumonia.

What symptoms point to Pneumonia?

  • Cough
  • Mucus production - often yellow and green
  • Temperatures
  • Chest pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Breathing difficulty

How is Pneumonia diagnosed?

The doctor will listen to your story and examine your chest.  A Chest xray and blood tests will usually be organised and a sputum sample might be collected.

Do I need to be admitted to hospital?

It depends on the severity of your illness.  Sometimes you can have tablets antibiotics at home but often stronger intravenous antibiotics are required as well as careful monitoring in hospital.  Complications can occur like septicaemia.


The New Victoria Hospital
184 Coombe Lane West
Kingston Upon Thames
Surrey KT2 7EG