The first decision to be made is whether or not you need hospitalization. Your doctor will look at these factors to make this decision:

  • How severely ill you are
  • Whether you have other medical conditions
  • Your age, and therefore your overall risk of developing complications (the very young and the very old are most at risk)
  • Whether you are on medications that weaken your immune system
  • Whether your blood oxygen is dangerously low
  • Whether the type of organisms that are infecting you might best be treated with intravenous medication, rather than by medicines given by mouth

For Managing Low Blood Oxygen

]]>Oxygen Therapy]]>

If pulse oximeter or arterial blood gas testing reveals that you have low blood oxygen or other abnormalities of the gases in your blood, then you may need supplemental oxygen. Oxygen can be given to you through small tubes that blow the oxygen into your nostrils (nasal cannula) or through an oxygen mask.

If you are severely ill and cannot get enough oxygen on your own, your healthcare provider may decide that you need to be put on a mechanical ventilator until your lungs have a chance to heal.

Other Therapies

Postural draining, chest percussion, and deep breathing exercises can help improve oxygenation by clearing the secretions from the upper respiratory tract and preventing collapsed lung, especially in postoperative or debilitated patients.