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Doctor insights on: Empyema Thoracis

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Dr. Sue Ferranti
Board Certified, Pulmonary Critical Care
23 years in practice
12M people helped
1

1
What are the most common symptoms of empyema?

What are the most common symptoms of empyema?

Fever...: Empyema is when there is pus in the space surrounding the lung. Patient's with empyema are usually ill with fever/chills, elevated white blood cell count, chest discomfort, coughing, perhaps shortness of breath. Treatment usually consists of chest tube drainage as well as antibiotic therapy. ...Read more

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Dr. William Forsythe
Board Certified
21 years in practice
169K people helped
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Dr. Loki Skylizard
90 doctors shared insights

Empyema (Definition)

Severe chest infection (Empyema) ...Read more


Dr. Martin Raff
Board Certified, Infectious Disease
50 years in practice
103M people helped
2

2
My husband's grandparent might have empyema. What is it?

My husband's grandparent might have empyema. What is it?

Pus around lung: The lungs are surrounded by two thin tissue layers called pleura. There is a potential space between these layers which can accumulate fluid which may be infected, or inflamed in some fashion so as to attract white blood cells. When this happens it is called empyema. It may be treated with antibiotics and drainage with a needle, and sometimes require chest tube or more invasion surgically. ...Read more

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Dr. William Forsythe
Board Certified
21 years in practice
169K people helped
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Dr. Douglas Arenberg
Board Certified, Pulmonary Critical Care
25 years in practice
938K people helped
3

3
Do lots of people get empyema, or is it unusual?

Do lots of people get empyema, or is it unusual?

Somehwere in between: Though less common than before antibiotics, empyema is a common problem in pulmonary and surgical practices, and it can result from pneumonia that (put simply) "leaks" from the surface of the lung into the chest cavity. It is a serious complication of pneumonia, and needs to be recognized, diagnosed, and treated promptly. ...Read more

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Dr. Douglas Arenberg
Board Certified, Pulmonary Critical Care
25 years in practice
938K people helped
4

4
How can I treat empyema?

Drain completely: Sometimes this can be accomplished with a simple chest tube, but often, empyema must be treated by a surgery, sometimes multiple surgeries, to literally peel the infected fluid off the surface of the lung (like a stale jello mold) and place a long term drain in the chest cavity. Antibiotics are only a part of the picture. The primary treatment is to evacuate the infected closed space. ...Read more

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Dr. William Forsythe
Board Certified
21 years in practice
169K people helped
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Dr. Martin Raff
Board Certified, Infectious Disease
50 years in practice
103M people helped
5

5
How do you treat empyema?

How do you treat empyema?

Drainage: Empyema or pus in the space around the outside of the lungs usually needs drainage and treatment with antibiotics directed against the causative agent (bacteria, tuberculosis, etc.). Sometimes surgical intervention may be necessary. ...Read more

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Dr. Loki Skylizard
Board Certified, Thoracic Surgery
14 years in practice
1M people helped
6

6
What is an empyema ?

What is an empyema ?

Pus in chest: Pus within chest cavity, serious condition. With early recognition, proper drainage, re-expansion of lung, and treatment of underlying cause, it is very treatable. This link may help: http://goo.Gl/5dncp. ...Read more

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Dr. Willam Lau
Board Certified, Infectious Disease
4 years in practice
351K people helped
7
Dr. Martin Raff
Board Certified, Infectious Disease
50 years in practice
103M people helped
8

8
What are the chances of closing an eloesser flap for empyema?

Empyema: Do you mean an omental flap? Read plast reconstr surg. 1997 feb;99(2):437-42. ...Read more

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Dr. Heidi Fowler
Board Certified, Psychiatry
19 years in practice
527M people helped
9

9
Can you tell me how to get a medical waiver for the navy (empyema)?

Empyema: "Empyema, including residual pleural effusion or unhealed sinuses of chest wall." is considered disqualifying. I don't know if this is a waiverable condition or not. Waiver requests are submitted via MEP's for conditions that may be waiverable. ...Read more

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Dr. Lyall Gorenstein
Board Certified, Thoracic Surgery
32 years in practice
93K people helped
10

10
What are the tests for empyema?

What are the tests for empyema?

Culture fluid : Usually start with a ct scan, followed by aspiration of fluid from the pleural space to see if it's infected. ...Read more

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Dr. William Forsythe
Board Certified,
21 years in practice
169K people helped
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