Understanding Treatment
for Empyema

What is empyema?

Empyema is a collection of pus in the space between your lungs and the inner surface of your chest wall, also known as the pleural space. When pus enters the pleural space, it cannot be coughed out. Instead, it needs to be drained by a medical professional. Typically, an infection that spreads from the lung, such as pneumonia, causes empyema. While fluid naturally occurs in our lungs, empyema can cause infected fluid to accumulate — not only making it harder for your lungs to absorb liquid but also making it more difficult for you to breathe.

What are the symptoms of empyema?

The main symptoms of empyema include chest pain that worsens when you breathe in deeply, a dry cough, excessive sweating — especially at night — fever and chills, general discomfort, uneasiness or ill feelings, shortness of breath, and unintentional weight loss.

How does ID Care diagnose empyema?

First, your ID Care physician will listen to your breath with a stethoscope — taking note of decreased or abnormal breath sounds. Then, after a chest X-ray or a CT scan of your chest, a thoracentesis will be performed to analyze the fluid in your lungs. All of these things combined ensure we reach an accurate empyema diagnosis.

How does ID Care treat empyema?

At ID Care, the goal of your treatment is to cure your infection and remove the collection of pus from the space between the lung and the inner surface of the chest wall. Most often, we prescribe antibiotics — sometimes intravenously in our state-of-the-art infusion suites — to control your infection and maximize your recovery; although, oral therapies are also helpful. Drainage of the fluid is the most important part of your recovery, and your treatment at ID Care will be designed specifically so this can occur. And we’ll always design the best treatment for you to ensure that happens.