When to Hospitalize for Pneumonia?

When to Hospitalize for Pneumonia?

Pneumonia is an infection caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi in one or both lungs. The disease causes inflammation of the airways of the lungs, called alveoli. The alveoli are filled with moisture or pus, which makes it difficult to breathe.

Both bacterial and viral Pneumonia is contagious. This means that they can be transferred from one person to another. It can be transferred by inhaling things in the air during inhalation or exhalation.

You can also get Pneumonia by interacting with surfaces or products that contain bacteria or bacteria that cause Pneumonia. The environment can cause fungal Pneumonia. It is not transmitted from person to person.

But how would one know when to hospitalize for Pneumonia? In this article, I have discussed Pneumonia and the factors that indicate the need to hospitalize for Pneumonia.

Different Types of Pneumonia

  • Hospital-acquired pneumonia-HAP
  • Community-acquired Pneumonia -CAP
  • Ventilator-associated pneumonia-VAP
  • Aspiration pneumonia
  • Walking Pneumonia
  • Bronchopneumonia
  • Lobar Pneumonia


  • Fever
  • Headaches
  • Coughing may cause mucus generation.
  • Chills or Sweating
  • Chest pain exaggerating with coughing
  • Shortening of breath
  • Fatigue or tired feelings
  • Nausea or Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite


Pneumonia occurs when a virus enters your lungs and causes an infection. The immune system responds by eradicating the infection, which causes alveolar inflammation. This inflammation can eventually cause air to pass through and fill with fluid, causing symptoms of Pneumonia.

Many infectious agents can cause Pneumonia, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

Bacterial Infection

The most common cause of Pneumonia is Streptococcus pneumoniae. Other causes include:

  • Haemophilus influenza
  • Mycoplasma pneumoniae
  • Legionella pneumophila

Viral Infection

  • Influenza-Flu
  • Measles
  • adenovirus
  • Chicken pox-Varicella zoster disease
  • Coronavirus
  • Rhinovirus- Common cold
  • Human parainfluenza virus (HPIV) infection
  • Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)
  • Human metapneumovirus (HMPV).
  • Infection with SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that produces COVID-19)

Fungal Infection

  • Cryptococcus species
  • Pneumocystis jirovecii
  • Histoplasmosis species


Your doctor will begin to take your medical history. They will ask you when your symptoms first appeared and about your health.

They then give you a physical exam. This includes hearing abnormal sounds, such as a rupture of the lungs, with a stethoscope.

Depending on the severity and risk of complications, the doctor suggests the following tests.

  • Blood culture
  • Chest X-ray
  • Pulse oximetry
  • Sputum culture
  • CT scan
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Fluid sample


Treatment depends on the type, severity, and overall health of the lung.

When to Hospitalize for Pneumonia?

One of the leading causes of death and hospitalization among US adults is Pneumonia. Studies have shown that pneumonia hospitalizations are increasing. Particularly among elderly adults (aged ≥65 years).

The elderly represent an increasingly large proportion of the population as the population ages and life expectancy increases.

This population is thought to be particularly susceptible to pneumonia requiring hospitalization. It is because of the prevalence of comorbid diseases. Such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or diabetes mellitus.

  • Multiple comorbidities (multi-morbidity) are also risk factors for Pneumonia. It may include:
  • Poor performance status
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • The high number of invasive indwelling medical devices
  • Polypharmacy, among others that may contribute to hospital admission.

A model that predicted long-term pneumonia hospitalization risk among adults in the community. It was based on age, smoking status, and pulmonary function in a study.

Besides malnutrition, alcohol abuse is another significant risk factor for pneumonia hospitalization. It is caused by alcohol’s effects on:

  • Immune function
  • Ciliary
  • Surfactant role in the lung
  • Aspiration risk.

When patients are admitted to the hospital and develop hospital-acquired Pneumonia (HAP), they are more vulnerable to the disease. Including the elderly, men, those with lung diseases, and those with multiorgan failure.

You can too get good medical treatment by being admitted to one of the good Hospitals in Pakistan if there is a need to.

Prescription Medication

Doctors will prescribe medicine to help treat Pneumonia. It depends on the cause of the Pneumonia.

Oral antibiotics can cure most lung diseases. Antibiotics do not protect against infection. In some cases, your doctor may suggest an antiviral for you. Antifungals are used to treat fungal infections. You may need to take this medicine for a few weeks to get rid of the infection.

OTC Medications

The doctor may also prescribe over-the-counter (OTC) medications to reduce pain and fever as needed. The doctor may also recommend a cough medicine to help you relax and get rid of your cough. Coughing helps remove fluid from the lungs, so you don’t want to eradicate it.

Preventive Measures

Several vaccines can help prevent Pneumonia. But the first line of defense is to get vaccinated.


  • Prevnar 13
  • Pneumovax 23
  • Flu Vaccine
  • Hib Vaccine

Other Prevention Tips

In addition to vaccines, there are other things you can do to prevent Pneumonia.

  • Quit smoking.
  • Wash your hands regularly.
  • Cover yourself when coughing and sneezing.
  • Improve your immune system by maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
  • Get enough rest, eat a healthy diet, and exercise regularly.

If you are or your close one has Pneumonia, and it is getting worse, you should get admitted to a good hospital. If you are having trouble finding a good hospital, you can find all of the best Hospitals in Pakistan at Marham.

Marham is the best platform where you can get all facilities regarding your health.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1- Is it necessary to be admitted to the hospital with Pneumonia?

Mild pneumonia can usually be treated at home with rest, antibiotics, and many fluids. More severe cases may require hospitalization.

2- What are the different stages of Pneumonia associated with COVID?

According to the interval between onset of symptoms and the CT scan, COVID stages are classified as follows:

  • The early phase, 0-5 days
  • Intermediate stage, 6-11 days
  • Late phase, 12-17 days

3- How long does Covid Pneumonia require hospitalization?

In the 15% of infected individuals who develop moderate to severe COVID-19 and are hospitalized for a few days and require oxygen, the recovery time ranges between three to six weeks.

Recovery can take much longer for the 5% of people who develop a severe or critical illness.