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P1160_ABC_Pfizer_Pneumonia_Heart_Disease

What If I Have Heart Disease and Get Pneumonia? It’s important to treat pneumonia as soon as you have symptoms. In fact, people who have heart disease should take steps to treat any signs of flu, as it can open the door for pneumonia. If you have heart disease and get Influenza, contact your doctor immediately. He or she may decide to treat your flu with the prescription drug Tamiflu. If started early enough, this drug can reduce symptoms and may prevent serious health problems caused by Influenza. Pneumonia is a contagious disease. Germs causing pneumonia are commonly spread by breathing secretions while coughing and sneezing. To prevent the spread of pneumonia, caution must be taken to limit exposure to these germs. • Rest. Stay home from work—don’t expose your coworkers. • Drink plenty of fluids. • Wash your hands frequently. • Protect yourself and others by using “barrier techniques”. This means covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Use facial tissue to cover your mouth, and dispose of accordingly. • Avoid being in crowded places. Be careful when passing body secretions via hand-mouth-eye (handshakes, kisses). • Do not smoke, and avoid secondhand smoke. Attempting to heal in a smoke-filled environment will make your symptoms worse. • Consider using a cool-mist humidifier and taking a warm bath to help clear your lungs of fluid. Both can help you breathe more easily. If you get the bacterial type of pneumonia, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics for you. Antibiotics help your body fight off pneumonia-causing germs. It’s important to take them exactly as prescribed until you’ve finished the prescription. Do not stop taking antibiotics, even if you feel better, until the bottle is empty. Keep taking your heart medications while you’re sick unless your doctor tells you not to. Let your doctor know if you are taking blood-thinning medication (warfarin). If pneumonia becomes worse, you may have to be admitted into the hospital or be given supplemental oxygen. A heart rate that is too fast or too slow, and even heart attacks, are more common in people who have heart disease. Fighting pneumonia can also stress a person with a weak heart into developing heart failure symptoms, such as fluid retention and shortness of breath. 11 You’ve finished! Take a short quiz on what you’ve learned. Click here to begin…


P1160_ABC_Pfizer_Pneumonia_Heart_Disease
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