Hospital-acquired pneumonia

Hospital-acquired pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that occurs during a hospital stay. This type of pneumonia can be very severe. Sometimes it can be fatal.

Causes

Pneumonia is a common illness. It is caused by many different germs. Pneumonia that starts in the hospital tends to be more serious than other lung infections because:

People in the hospital are often very sick and cannot fight off germs.

The types of germs present in a hospital are often more dangerous and more resistant to treatment than those outside in the community.

Pneumonia occurs more often in people who are using a respirator. This machine helps them breathe.

Hospital-acquired pneumonia can also be spread by health care workers, who can pass germs from their hands or clothes from one person to another. This is why hand-washing, wearing gowns, and using other safety measures is so important in the hospital.

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