Lung abscess usually occurs because of one or two diseases. The abscess may be a complication of one type of pneumonia or (inhalation of) foreign body, e.g. a piece of tooth or food while you are not conscious. This sometimes happens when a person is under anesthesia or when he passes out after drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. Antibiotic treatment has almost excluded abscesses associated with pneumonia; lung abscesses occur today mainly among chronic alcoholics and undernourished people.
The main symptoms are intermittent fever and chills, but chest pain and cough with thick, purulent sputum, which is often streaked with blood may occur, too.
What to do?
The patient should be admitted to hospital for diagnostic tests. X-rays will localize the abscesses, and further research will uncover microbes that have caused it. Treatment with appropriate antibiotics should lead to full recovery.