The lungs and inside of the chest cavity are lined with a smooth layer called the pleura. These layers are almost in contact, but separated by athin space the pleural space filled with a small amount of lubricant called pleural fluid.
The pleural fluid cansometimes build up and become infected, so that a collection of pus forms. This can thicken and cause areas of the pleura to stick together, creatingpockets of pus.
Empyema can worsen to become many more pockets of pus, withthick deposits coating the outer layer of the lungs. These deposits prevent the lungs expanding properly.
The most common cause of empyema is pneumonia caused by a bacterial infection of the lungs. An empyema can form when pneumonia fails to fully respond to treatment in a straightforward way.
Other possible causes are:
You're more at risk of developing an empyema if you:
Both adults and children can be affected.
NHS Choices information on empyema, the medical term for pockets of pus that have collected inside a body cavity. With links to other useful resources.
The lungs and inside of the chest cavity are lined with a smooth layer called the pleura. These layers are almost in contact, but separated by athin space the pleural space filled with a small amount
An empyema can bedistressing and uncomfortable. It can cause: a fever and night sweats a lack of energy difficulty breathing weight loss chest pain a cough, and coughing up mucus containing pus
An empyema is usually suspected when a person with severe pneumonia does not improve with treatment, and they start to show some of the above symptoms. If the patient is coughing up mucus,a sample of
Antibiotics given via a drip Some patients will just need antibiotics given intravenously (directly into a vein through a drip). However, they may need to stay in hospital for a long period. Ches