Connecticut residents who have pneumonia sometimes believe that they have an ordinary cold or a case of the flu. However, its effects can become worse the longer an individual suffers from the condition. To determine if someone has pneumonia, a doctor will ask a series of questions and run a series of tests. For instance, a doctor will ask a patient about his or her travel history as well as when symptoms first became apparent.
Other questions will focus on what medications an individual takes as well as his or her exposure to others who may have been sick. After asking relevant questions, an individual will go through a physical examination that will check for wheezing, bubbling of cracking sounds during inhalation. If a doctor cannot hear signs of breathing in certain areas of the chest, that too may be a sign of pneumonia.
A blood test may be ordered to check an individual’s white blood cell count, which could indicate that an infection is present. Blood cultures may be taken to determine if the infection has spread into the bloodstream. A doctor may also check the oxygen levels in an individual’s blood prior to making a diagnosis. When pneumonia is present, the lungs may have trouble moving oxygen throughout the body.
A doctor who is fails to diagnose a patient’s condition may have committed medical malpractice. An erroneous diagnosis may lead to chronic pain or lower quality of life. This may entitle an individual to compensation for medical bills, lost wages and lost future earnings. An attorney may be able to help such a patient pursue such an action through the filing of a lawsuit against the responsible party.