|Parapneumonic pulmonary effusion is an
accumulation of fluid between layers of the membrane lining the lung
and the chest cavity (pleural effusion) that develops in the setting of pneumonia.
Bacterial pneumonia can cause pleural effusion that is not infected,
called a parapneumonic effusion. When the fluid is infected or quite
inflamed it is called a complicated parapneumonic effusion, or an
empyema. Infection in the pleural space causes severe inflammation,
which causes adhesions to form and "scarring down" of the pleural
space. This, in turn, can compress the lung until the infection clears.
The infection is very difficult to eradicate without draining the
fluid. If a thoracentesis is performed for an empyema, the fluid
rapidly reaccumulates. Therefore, therapy is directed at draining the
pleural space completely and keeping it empty until the infection has
Patients with parapneumonic effusions that do not meet criteria for
immediate tube drainage should show clinical improvement within 1 week
after appropriate antibiotic treatment is begun. If these patient do
not improve or if they deteriorate clinically, they should be
reassessed radiographically. Chest CT and ultrasonography may identify
loculated foci of empyema that require tube or surgical drainage (17).
Then, I think she’s fine. Phew……