How is pneumonia diagnosed?

Your doctor will do a thorough exam. During your exam he or she will:

  • Ask about your health history and conduct a physical exam.
  • Listen to your lungs with a stethoscope.
  • Possibly order a chest X-ray to look for signs of pneumonia and the extent of the infection.
  • Conduct a pulse oximetry test to measure the amount of oxygen in your blood (indicates how well your lungs are moving oxygen into your bloodstream).
  • Order laboratory tests of your blood and/or mucus to determine the type of infection – bacteria, virus, or fungus – that has caused pneumonia.

If you are a high-risk patient, your doctor may order other tests.

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