'Empyema' is the medical term for pockets of pus that have collected inside a body cavity.

They canform ifa bacterial infection is left untreated, or if it fails to fully respond to treatment.

The term 'empyema' is most commonly used to refer to pus-filled pockets that develop in the pleural space. This is the slim space between the outsideof the lungs and the inside of the chest cavity.

Empyema isa serious condition which requires treatment. It can cause fever, chest pains, breathlessnessand coughing up mucussee What are the symptoms?

Although it can occasionally be life-threatening, it's not a common condition, as most bacterial infections are effectively treated with antibiotics before they get to this stage.

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 24 Nov 2016