Advertisement

Is pneumonia serious?

Pneumonia is a serious illness for anyone. It can be even more serious for the elderly, who are more likely to develop complications and may die from pneumonia. For people with chronic illnesses such as diabetes, lung disease, or heart failure, pneumonia can be very serious or even fatal. Weakened immunity from cancer treatment, HIV/AIDS, or other causes can make pneumonia much more dangerous. Pneumonia is also a serious illness in infants and young children.

Pneumonia is a serious infection for everyone.  However, the elderly and immunocompromised such as those with AIDS or on chemotherapy have a much harder time recovering from pneumonia than healthy individuals.  Children often recover more quickly from pneumonia than the groups already mentioned.  However, some will go on to develop fluid or pus surrounding their lungs.  These patients become very ill and usually have to have the pus drained from the lung.  Also, it is often necessary to give these sicker patients oxygen because their lungs are not functioning well enough to keep the patient adequately oxygenated.  It is important that patients with fever and cough be evaluated and treated promptly to hopefully keep from developing a more serious pneumonia.

Continue Learning about Pneumonia

Dental Visits Ward Off Pneumonia
Dental Visits Ward Off Pneumonia
In the Friends episode, “The One with Ross’ Teeth,” Ross (David Schwimmer) over-bleaches his teeth for an upcoming date, leaving him with glaringly wh...
Read More
Is pneumonia deadly?
Celeste Robb-NicholsonCeleste Robb-Nicholson
Although influenza shouldn't be shrugged off -- it still kills a few hundred women annually -- pneum...
More Answers
How can I protect myself from getting pneumonia again?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
If you get pneumonia once, will you get it again? That depends on whether any of your risk factors h...
More Answers
How Is Pneumonia Treated?
How Is Pneumonia Treated?

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.