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Had some congestion. Found left lobe infiltration. Prescribed antibiotic. How long will it take for recovery?

May 2014
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Practicing since : 2002
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My 89 year old Mom had some congestion..took her to her Doctor and they took a chest ex XXXXXXX They found left lobe infiltration which I think can indicate some pneumonia or lung infection. She does have a cough but not constant and seems to be letting up. They put her on an antibiotic. She started Tues evening and it is a 10 day dose. She didn't seem much better this morning but is better tonight. She has no chest pain and she was getting a bit winded when she moved around that seems to have gotten better. Her oxygen levels are 95 to 97/ 63 and she has no fever How long does it take to get some really marked improvement from an antibiotic and does the fact that she is 89 factor into that?
Posted Mon, 14 Oct 2013 in Lung and Chest disorders
Answered by Dr. Vivek Chail 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Improvement expected 3 to 5 days after antibiotics

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for writing in to us.

Sorry to hear about the lung infection your mom is having presently.
I have read through your query in detail.

Pneumonia is an illness that is usually due to bacterial infection in the lungs and may be seen in the chest radiograph as lung infiltrates. As you have mentioned left lung involvement, the pneumonia needs proper treatment with antibiotics. Patients at her age might take some time to show improvement. This is because of the weak general condition at 89 years. I would like to know if she is being treated in a hospital or at home.

Not having chest pain is a good sign. Are other symptoms like fever and breathlessness present? I would like to re confirm that even though you have mentioned there is no fever.

Antibiotics enter the blood and make their way to the lungs to act on the disease causing bacteria. Your doctor might have given appropriate antibiotics. It is mentioned by you that antibiotics were started Tues evening and today is Thurs evening, about a couple of days into antibiotics. Marked improvement might be expected anywhere between the third and fifth days after starting antibiotics. However please allow her enough rest and healthy dietary intake right now. A repeat X XXXXXXX may be done depending on patient condition if felt necessary by your doctor.

It is important to take note of any other small complaints that she has and discussing that with your doctor.

Hope your query is answered.
Do write back in case of doubts.

Wishing your mother a speedy recovery.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Had some congestion. Found left lobe infiltration. Prescribed antibiotic. How long will it take for recovery? 41 minutes later
No chest pain and seems to be breathing good...slept comfortable last night listened to her breathing. Not labored last night. Has good appetite and tries to keep walking every so often. I have one of those finger oxygen readers and it was 97/63 even when walking decent read...will see Doctor again next week probably Mon.

She is at home being very well taken care of by me and family
Answered by Dr. Vivek Chail 4 hours later
Brief Answer:
She is improving clinically.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for writing back to us with an update.

I am glad to receive your update and its great to hear that you Mom is not having any chest pain or difficulty in breathing at the moment. Good to know that her appetite is normal and she takes walks, she should not exert herself to the point of getting tired or fatigue. The oxygen saturation looks alright. It seems that she is improving clinically after taking antibiotics. Give her enough oral fluids to avoid dehydration, which occurs commonly in the elderly.

Its nice to have a caring family around and hope she recovers fast. Its just a matter of days I guess.

Hope your query is answered.
Do write back in case of doubts.

Wishing you and your family good health.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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