When to Suspect Pneumonia

Over the past two weeks I have noticed unusually frequent cases of pneumonia among children coming to my practice. Pneumonia has to be promptly treated with antibiotics: a recent study showed that in critically ill children with pneumonia, delays of even a few hours to treatment with the correct antibiotic increase risk for severe complications [1].

What is pneumonia and when should you suspect it? Pneumonia is an infection in the lung (or both lungs). It usually starts acutely with high fever and cough. Children with pneumonia look sick, they have decreased energy and appetite, they may vomit from cough and their breathing is fast and labored. Also pneumonia happens more often in kids who have history of asthma, since their [Continue reading…]

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