Infections

Expert reports about Infections


INFORMATION FOR WOMEN HAVE PNEUMONIA DURING PREGNANCY OR BREASTFEEDING

 

What is pneumonia?

Pneumonia is an infection in the lungs, specifically in the alveoli (air sacs) deep within the lungs, which become inflamed and can fill with mucous or pus. This interferes with exchange of the gases oxygen (O2) and carbon dioxide (CO2) between the blood and air. Usually, the infection is concentrated in one particular section of a lung, called a lobe (lobar pneumonia), so blood is still replenished with air from healthier lobes and from the other lung, but if very severe, the condition can cause low O2 saturation of the hemoglobin in your red blood cells (“low O2 sat”), making you very tired and ill. It also can cause your body to retain CO2, which causes the pH of your blood to decrease (the body becomes more acidic). Pneumonia also can occur as what’s called bronchial pneumonia in which the infection is spread through multiple lobes, which is generally worse than having pneumonia more concentrated, but limited to a single lobe. Along with disrupting gas exchange, pneumonia also produces chills and fever, which can be very high, particularly if the pneumonia is bacterial, plus it produces symptoms specific to the lungs, such as coughing, difficulty breathing, and chest pain.


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