How is community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) diagnosed?

Sharine Forbes
Geriatric Medicine

Community Acquired Pneumonia (CAPs) can be diagnosed by several methods. First, a physical is performed in order to assess the severity of symptoms present in the patient. For example, someone who has hypotension, an increased heart rate, palpitations, breathing difficulties; in conjunction with fever and fluctuations in the levels of oxygen present in the blood, may prompt the doctor to order an x-ray of the pulmonary and chest region. If they x-ray shows any type of abnormal shadowing in the lungs then the doctor would then deliver a diagnosis. However, other methods such as blood cultures, and Sputum Gram's stain can also be employed in order the detect CAPs. 

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