Essay: Measurement of Severity of Pneumonia

Blood test can also be carried out to measure the number of white blood cells which determines the severity of the pneumonia. High numbers of neutrophils are detected in bacterial infections while high numbers of lymphocytes are detected in viral, fungal and some bacterial infections such as tuberculosis.

Doctors also use bronchoscopy in diagnosing pneumonia. In this procedure, the doctor inserts a thin, flexible, light viewing tube inside the mouth or nose of the patient and examines the air passages. Samples of sputum or tissue from the infected lung can also be obtained to be examined under a microscope. Thoracentesis is also another procedure carried out by inserting a needle into the chest cavity to draw fluid that has collected in the pleural space around the lungs. Ultra sound must be used in this procedure to prevent complications (Schiffman, 2009).

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