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Claire asked...

Recently had pneumonia

My husband has recently had pneumonia for the last 4 weeks and is still having considerable trouble breathing and sleeping. It seems to be getting worse. What type of specialist would you recommend he should see? After much time wasting with the GP they have said he should have an ECG but this is not for another week. Thank you.

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The answer

Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs which is often caused by a bacteria or virus, most commonly the Pneumococcus Bacteria. Pneumonia causes inflammation of the lung and a build up of fluid in the airsacs. Pneumonia often presents by means of shortness of breath, cough and fever.

Recovery from Pneumonia is often assisted with the use of antibiotics, rest and healthy lifestyle e.g reducing smoking and commencing exercise and a nutritional diet with plenty of fluid intake. Painkillers can also help to reduce discomfort felt at this time.

Blood tests, X-rays and ECG can be done to check for further infection and cardiac anomalies.

The doctor ideally should recheck these after about 6 weeks to see if recovery has been made.

Unfortunately you say that still after a month he is still symptomatic and we understand you have seen your GP again and your husband will be having an ECG. However, we would suggest that if you remain concerned about your husbands recovery and symptoms you may wish to be referred to a Respiratory Medicine specialist at the local hospital or private hospital of your choice.

In the meantime we would encourage you to maintain a healthy diet with exercise and attempt deep breathing exercises to enable the best circulation possible.

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses  

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