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Pneumonia is treated with antibiodics and symptomatically. When coupled with COPD or other inflammatory illnesses of the lungs, I have seen steriods given. But not necessarily to treat pneumonia alone.
I have suffered from pneumonia and asthma. When I have suffered from both, at the same time, I have received steroids in conjuction with treatment for my neumonia. I have never received steroids just for treatment of pneumonia and it is generally not recommended.
I am reading "The Great Influenza" which describes the influenza pandemic of 1918-1919. It was a unique outbreak of disease in that the people most likely to die from the flu were young, strong, healthy people with good immune systems. The immune system caused great damage to the lungs as it tried to fight off the virus. Patients with weaker immune systems were more likely to survive the flu because they did not experience the same lung damage. It was theorized that giving these young, healthy influenza patients steroids may have helped to save lives during that outbreak. So, using steroids may be of benefit to patients with certain types influenza-related pneumonia. I'm sure anti-viral or anti-biotic therapy would be considered, as well.
I'm asking this because I was recently told by an RT that a certain patient was refused steroids he requested because they are not given to pt with pneumonia. I don't understand, since I see prednisone or solumedrol given so much. It made me question my knowledge base and sent me to you fine people for help.
Do you see steroids given for pneumonia? Why or why not?
Yes. Steriods have an anti inflammatory response. I see it used more frequently with pts with COPD and also tranplant pts because it has an antirejection property...hence the side effects...lowered immune system (perfect for transplant pts).