• Fulminant Pneumonia

    Due to its sudden onset, rapid progression and severity, fulminant pneumonia requires urgent care. Pneumonia is an inflammation of the lungs caused by an underlying infection. Sources of infection include bacteria, viruses and fungi. The severity of the pneumonia depends upon not only the source of the infection, but also on the patient's age and overall medical health. Typically, severe cases like fulminant pneumonia result from bacterial infections, such as those caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae.

    Bacterial pneumonia infections become even more serious when patients contract them while hospitalized for the treatment of another condition, as their immune systems–already actively working to control the condition requiring initial treatment–are weakened. Further compounding treatment challenges is the fact that hospitalized patients who acquire bacterial pneumonia are more likely to contract a form of the infection that is resistant to antibiotic treatment. If a patient with severe pneumonia fails to respond to treatment, he or she may die from respiratory failure.

    Pneumonia symptoms include cough with yellow/green mucus; rapid, shallow breathing; fever and chills; chest pain that grows worse when taking a deep breath or coughing; and shortness of breath. Vaccination is an easy way to help prevent pneumonia–including fulminant pneumonia–from infecting those at particularly high risk for the illness, including children, the elderly, diabetics, asthmatics, cancer patients, and those with other chronic conditions such as HIV or emphysema. Vaccines to consider for pneumonia prevention include the following:

    • Pneumococcal vaccine: prevents bacterial infection due to Streptococcus pneumoniae  
    • Flu vaccine: prevents cases of pneumonia arising from the influenza virus; vaccination must be administered annually to guard against new strains of the virus




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  • An introduction from Dr. Andrew Villanueva