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Lung diseases

Pneumonia

06/16/2009

Question:

Hi I hope you can help me.. my mother is 64 yrs old & has been hospitalised 4 days ago she was diagnosed with pneumonia I havent spoke to her doctor yet so I dont know what type but think its bacterial she is very weak on oxegen & getting blood transfusion & antibiotic Iv etc.. My question is she had been in a mental hospital for few months before & seemed ok up until 6 week ago they said she had chest infection but she began to lose balance & fall a lot I wanted to know if that would have been pneumonia coming on & why she kept falling?? How long would it take for her to get better?? And if the doctors in the hospital say that it has cleared & she is still falling & weak can you suggest me what I can do. Im so worried for her & praying she gets better. I hope you can help me. Thanks.

Answer:

Your mother's physician will be in the best position to answer your questions and your first step should be to speak with him/her to address your concerns. Although pneumonia can cause falling, community-acquired bacterial pneumonia does not last for 6 weeks. If this was a lung condition that began 6 weeks ago, then you should ask her physician if there is any chance that she could have tuberculosis, lung cancer, or any other lung condition that can mimic pneumonia but persist for 6 weeks. There are many other reasons that people fall including side effects of medications and various neurologic conditions.

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Response by:

James N Allen, Jr, MD James N Allen, Jr, MD
Clinical Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University