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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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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.