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 this should be taken to be inspected under a microscope.Thetype of bacteria causing theinfection is identified so the most effective antibiotics can be given.
A blood sample will also be taken, to count the number of white blood cells and other markers of infection.
An X-ray or ultrasound scan will show whether there is a collection of fluid building up around the lungs and how much there is. Often a CT scan may also be used to give a more detailed assessment.
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