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Pneumonia First Aid

Causes, Symptoms and Treatment of Pneumonia


Updated January 25, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Pneumonia is an infection deep in the lungs. Here is an overview of pneumonia to help you provide proper first aid for pneumonia.

Pneumonia Causes

Pneumonia is an infection deep in the lungs affecting small air sacs called the alveoli. Pneumonia is most often caused by bacteria. About a third of the cases of pneumonia in the U.S. come from viruses.

Pneumonia Symptoms

Pneumonia can follow a cold or the flu. The signs and symptoms of pneumonia come from both the infection and the reaction in the lungs, which interferes with air flow.

Pneumonia Treatment

The most important treatment for pneumonia is to recognize the symptoms of pneumonia and contact your doctor. Pneumonia treatment often requires antibiotics or other prescription medications, depending on the cause of the pneumonia. Pneumonia treatment at home focuses on treating the cause and coping with the symptoms, especially shortness of breath.

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