Bilateral pneumonia complicated by pleural effusion-- can this be fatal?

Probably not... This condition is typically treated with antibiotcs and drainage of the effusion with a chest tube if it is large enough. Generally it is not fatal; however, if severe enough & not responsive to treatment, this can be very serious.
Yes. It depends on amount of lung compromised by the pneumonia, or compressed by the fluid all taken together.

Related Questions

How could pneumonia be gone 6 weeks and now have atelectasis and pleural effusion?

Common.... Atelectasis and pleural effusion can both occur with pneumonia. Atelectasis can heal faster if the patient takes frequent deep breaths and the use of an incentive spirometer will help with this. Ask your doctor to prescribe an incentive spirometer for you. The fluid around the lung will get reabsorbed over time. Get a repeat chest xray to make sure your lungs completely heal. Hope you feel better. Read more...

Can you have small pleural effusion in both lungs post pneumonia being only in left?

Yes. Effusion appears due to infection, but also when you not taking deep breaths. So, even if infection one on one side, it's hard to take breath all together. You need to do some Yoga Breathing. May cause some coughing, but may help to open up those lungs. Read more...

Should I worry about small atelectasis and small pleural effusion in my lungs 6 weeks after pneumonia? I'm worried

Probably normal. These changes are typical after pneumonia, but should resolve within 6-12 weeks. Ask whomever was treating you for the pneumonia about the need for a follow up chest X-ray in a couple months. Hope this helps! Read more...