Pneumonia remains a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in the UK and yet the seriousness of the disease is underestimated. Pneumonia can be life-threatening because the delicate tissues of the alveoli and pulmonary capillaries are susceptible to damage from the inflammatory response. This damage leads to consolidation that prevents the diffusion of oxygen and carbon dioxide, and this in turn can lead to respiratory failure. This learning module summarises guidance on the diagnosis and management of community-acquired pneumonia, and also includes information on the prevention of pneumonia. This information should be valuable to nurses working in a variety of clinical areas since patients with community-acquired pneumonia are encountered in primary, intermediate, secondary and critical care.
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