“Pneumonia is an infection of the alveolar or gas exchanging portions of the lung. Pneumococcus (Streptococcus pneumonia) is the classic bacterial etiology, though incidence from atypical and opportunistic agents, particularly if pneumonia is acquired in healthcare settings, is increasing.”1


“Patients with pneumonia frequently will present with cough (79% to 91%), fatigue (90%), fever (71% to 75%), dyspnea (67% to 75%), sputum production (60% to 65%), and pleuritic chest pain (39% to 49%).”2


“The differential diagnosis of patients with cough and radiographic abnormality includes lung cancer, tuberculosis, pulmonary embolism, chemical or hypersensitivity pneumonitis, connective tissue disorders, granulomatous disease, and fungal infections.”2


Taking into consideration the location where the patient may have acquired the pneumonia (Community Acquired Pneumonia – CAP vs Hospital Acquired Pneumonia – HAP) is an important aspect when deciding on the appropriate treatment as causative pathogens can largely vary.


An in-depth review of pneumonia focusing on the causative pathogens (and risk factors for acquiring such infections), variations in presentation, radiographic findings, and treatment considerations is provided by Canadiem.



Click HERE for a list of all mentioned FOAM resources.


  1. Goodlow. J., Chapter 30, “Bronchitis, Pneumonia, and SARS”. Tintinalli’s Emergency Medicine Manual. Cline et al. McGraw-Hill Education, 2012. 330. Print.
  2. Emerman, C., Anderson, E., Cline, D., Chapter 68, “Community-Acquired Pneumonia, Aspiration Pneumonia, and Noninfectious Pulmonary Infiltrates”. Tintinalli’s Emergency Medicine – A Comprehensive Study Guide. J Tintinalli. 7th ed. McGraw-Hill Education, 2010.


Prepared by Alex Mungham PGY1 FM – University of Ottawa