Treating Pneumonia: When To Stay Home vs When To Go To The Hospital

Treating Pneumonia: When To Stay Home vs When To Go To The Hospital

Sick In Bed

Pneumonia is a condition where pathogens like bacteria, viruses, or fungi infect the lungs. This infection is transmitted to people by airborne droplets. Pneumonia symptoms differ by severity level, age group affected, and pathogen involved. Sometimes, pneumonia can be managed with simple conservative treatments or home remedies. However, when symptoms become serious, visiting the hospital or calling 911 is necessary.


Serious symptoms

Pneumonia manifestations vary from mild to severe and are also, based on the age group and pathogen. Commonly seen signs and symptoms are cough with or without phlegm, chest pain, fever, shortness of breath, confusion, and fatigue.

Improving health with easy treatments

Patients can try home remedies or medical treatments in mild pneumonia cases to ease the symptoms. Staying home and taking a good amount of rest helps to improve the symptoms. Drinking fluids such as water or warm tea can help remove the mucus from the lungs. A cool compress helps to bring down the body temperature in case of a fever. Avoiding aggravating factors like smoke and taking prescribed medications are effective to treat pneumonia.

A visit to the hospital

Pneumonia, flu, and cold share similar symptoms, and differentiating from these respiratory conditions is important. Symptoms such as fever, cough with mucus, shortness of breath, fatigue, and appetite change require a visit to the doctor. However, unknowingly, symptoms worsen and there is an urgent need to call 911 or go to the emergency room. Immediately go to the hospital if there is breathing difficulty, high fever, persistent cough, chest pain, or mental state changes. In severe cases, a patient may be hospitalized and kept under observation.

Treatments at the hospital

The patient will be given intravenous antibiotics, oxygen treatment, and respiratory therapy in the emergency room. Simultaneously, the healthcare team will monitor the patient’s critical vital signs such as respiratory rate, temperature, and heart rate. Tests such as x-rays are performed to check for any improvements in the patient’s lung. The tests will also determine if the healthcare provider requires any treatment modifications.


The majority of patients have a good recovery rate after treating pneumonia. The time to recuperate from this infection depends on the severity, the patient’s age, and the cause of the infection. Recovery time varies from 1 week to several weeks. Regardless of the type and severity of pneumonia, getting treated is crucial to avoid future life-threatening situations.

Quick treatment

If one has common lung infection symptoms like fever, cough, or fatigue, immediately start the treatment, including home remedies. Serious symptoms like breathing difficulty, chest pain, appetite change, mental state change, persistent cough, or fever require a hospital visit. Pneumonia has a good prognosis and a healthcare provider can provide the best management for a fast recovery.

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