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Lung diseases

Recovery time after pneumonia

03/24/2005

Question:

My husband was hospitalized with bacterial pneumonia last month.He was seen by a lung specialist in the hopital and had puss drained from his left lung. The doctor is due to see him again next week, but he (and I) are concerned that he is still weak and has lost weight. I am most concerned that his recovery may be stalled for some reason. Is it common for this kind of illness to require a long recovery time? What can I (we) do to help build his strength back? He gets dizzy after walking up stairs. Is that a sign that he is oxygen deprived? What questions should we ask the doctor at his appointment? Thank you so much for any advice you can offer. Worried

Answer:

Recovery after pneumonia is variable depending on both the underlying health of the patient, age and severity of the pneumonia. Prolonged bedrest by itself may lead to deconditioning. Being dizzy with exertion may be a sign that your husband needs additional studies so be sure to bring that up to your physician. If everything checks out OK ask if he is a candidate for pulmonary rehabilitation.

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Response by:

Mitchell C Rashkin, MD Mitchell C Rashkin, MD
Professor of Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati