5 Serious Complications of Pneumonia That You Should Know About

Pneumonia is a common problem but it can get severe and cause various other health complications

Gandharv Gulati
Written by: Gandharv GulatiUpdated at: Jun 28, 2020 12:30 IST
5 Serious Complications of Pneumonia That You Should Know About

Pneumonia is a respiratory issue that can get triggered by either bacteria or fungus or virus. The condition may get better in days or weeks but it may trigger other health issues alongside. While you may recover from pneumonia, there might be other complications waiting for you. Medical consultation is very important to avert these issues. Also, you must check out for the signs and symptoms other than pneumonia to learn about the underlying problem. Here are 5 serious complications of Pneumonia hat we will talk about in this article.


Bacteremia and Septic Shock

Pneumonia is caused by virus, fungus and bacteria. If your pneumonia is triggered by bacteria, it can get into your blood and this condition is called bacteremia. This may further cause septic shock which is an indication of the bacterial infection in your blood. In such a case, your blood pressure will suddenly drop down to really low. This is a deadly condition as your heart won’t be able to function in low BP levels and may eventually fail. Here are some symptoms of this condition:

  • Low BP
  • Increased heart rate
  • Faster breathing
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Mental confusion
  • Upset stomach

Symptoms of pneumonia: 


Also Read: What is walking pneumonia? Know Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and More

Lung Abscesses

Lung abscesses are a condition where pus is formed in your lungs. Pneumonia can cause this condition mostly in cases where the person has a weak immunity or bacteremia or gum disease. Older people and men are at greater risk of this condition. One should see a doctor when they see these symptoms of lung abscesses:

  • High fever
  • Pus with cough
  • Night sweats
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Unintentional and abrupt weight loss

Pleural Effusions, Pleurisy and Empyema

There are two tissue layers around your lungs which are collectively called Pleura. Both of these help in smooth breathing. However, untreated pneumonia can inflate them making them swell and painful. If this swelling isn’t treated on time, fluid may get filled which is called pleural effusion. Furthermore, if this fluid gets infected, it may cause empyema. Here are some symptoms to identify the problem:

  • Acute chest pain while breathing, sneezing and coughing
  • High fever
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Pain in shoulder and back

There are different treatments for each condition.


Respiratory Failure

Acute pneumonia conditions may cause fluid retention in your lungs which can affect the oxygenation. Your lungs won’t be able to provide oxygen to the blood and the other vital organs may not receive enough oxygen to function. This is a rare complication but people with weak immunity are susceptible to this condition. Here are some symptoms:

  • Restlessness
  • Problem breathing
  • Racing heart rate
  • Losing consciousness
  • Sweating

Also Read: Pneumonia Prevention: Dr Poonam Sachdev Explains How Can One Prevent Pneumonia

Heart Failure

The research found that about 20% of pneumonia patients complained about heart issues. It is speculated that bacterial pneumonia affects oxygenation which may increase the load on the heart. This makes your heart work more than its efficiency and cause trouble. Elderly people or those who had a heart condition before are highly likely to deal with this after catching pneumonia. Hence, one should know everything about heart failure

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