How is pneumonia diagnosed?

Pneumonia can be. Diagnosed on many occasions simply via a thorough history, and physical examination. You can hear rales on examination of the lungs. On laboratory examinations the white count is often elevated. If there is a question the doctor may also order a chest xray.
History/exam/labs. Pneumonia is suspected when there are compatible symptoms this may include shortness of breath, fever, chills, cough productive of foul sputum. On exam there may be abnormal lung sounds, a chest xray may show shadows on the lung, a sample of the sputum may grow bacteria, and a blood test may show elevated white blood cells ( that fight infection). The doc puts together all the evidence to make dx.

Related Questions

How do you diagnose pneumonia?

CXR or stethoscope. You can see it on a chest xray or a cat scan of the chest, you can hear it with a stethoscope and you can sometimes get a clue from certain blood tests. Read more...
Hx,Exam+/- xray. Physicians generally combine features of a presenting history with a physical exam & may be able to DX pneumonia on that basis. It's a bit harder in kids who can have one you cannot hear on physical exam, so xrays are often required. Many times an xray will be obtained to confirm what is suspected & may help define the probable germ & best treatments. Read more...
Diagnosis. We use the patient's history and examination. Using a stethoscope and chest x-ray we hear and see abnormal sounds and findings. Read more...