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Empyema

Empyema is a collection of pus in the space between the lung and the inner surface of the chest wall (pleural space). Empyema is usually caused by an infection that spreads from the lung. A pint or more of infected fluid can accumulate in the pleural space and this fluid puts pressure on the lungs.

Symptoms include:

  • Chest pain, which worsens when you breathe in deeply (pleurisy)
  • Dry cough
  • Excessive sweating, especially night sweats
  • Fever and chills
  • General discomfort, uneasiness, or ill feeling (malaise)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weight loss (unintentional)

The health care provider may note decreased breath sounds or an abnormal sound (friction rub) when listening to the chest with a stethoscope (auscultation). Tests may include a chest x-ray, CT scan of chest, Pleural fluid Gram stain and culture and/or Thoracentesis.

The goal of treatment is to cure the infection and remove the collection of pus from the space between the lung and the inner surface of the chest wall. Antibiotics are prescribed to control the infection.

For additional information, please click here http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/empyema

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