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Questions re pneumonia and effusion


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We had some questions and this be the place where somebody seems to know about just about everything ...

1. The pneumonia sneaked up on us because hubby never ran a fever. Can anyone tell me how that could be? I had relied on temp to rule out infections, guess I better not do that any more.

2. How does one know when the pleural effusion might be coming back? I think I have seen on here that some people get them over and over. What do you watch for? This time it was SOB plus a full feeling, so full he didn't want to eat. Is that usually it? Anything else?

We are doing okay for now. Hubby is having fun again but is still short of breath. We will just try to be steady until the next tests/appt.

Thanks, Margaret

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I haven't had pnemonia, but have had the pericardial and plueral efussions. I gained like twelve pounds and had severe SOB. I was extremely tired and could only take a couple of steps before I had to stop and rest. I called my onc and he had me come in and was given an x-ray. He also listened to my heart. I was weighed and couldn't believe my weight! I immediately was hospitalized and had surgery to relieve the pressure on my heart. The fluid has almost resolved itself, thanks to the pericardial window. A hole was cut in the top of the heart sac to allow the fluid to drain downward. My breathing was so much better. No cancer was found in the fluid, but the cancer caused the fluid build up. TAnn had a problem with plueral efussions and had a Denver Catherter inserted to prevent reoccurence. I was also under the impression that a fever pointed to an infection like pnemonia. Thanks for the insight. Hope your hubby gets better.

God Bless,


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I haven't had any experience with the pnuemonia, but for the pleural effusions, I always could tell when it was coming back. First of all I had more pain when I took a breath, noticable increase in shortness of breath and I could actually "feel" it accumulating. It felt like a "glug" in my side. Crazy, but true. Like Cheryl said, I had a Denver Catheter put in for about 5 1/2 weeks and have not had reaccumulation since.

Hope this helps. Sorry your husband is going through this.


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Margaret -

A couple of years ago I had a terrible bout with pnuemonia and didn't run a fever at all - in fact the only reason I went to the ER was because I was coughing up massive amounts of fresh blood. I was shocked because I felt pretty good and had run 3 miles 2 days prior to ER visit. I have since had pnuemonia at least once a year and have only run a temp twice. I don't know if the lack of fever means you caught it early or what but I now know how it feels and go to doc and request chest x-ray before I get the full blown symptoms.

I hope your hubby is feeling better.

Much Love,


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Hi Margaret,

With me my effusions come and go. They have never been detected to be any more than "moderate" size. But when I look at the effusion on the Ct scan, it looks pretty big to me.

Sometimes I have no symptoms with them. At other times, I feel a pressure and I have a difficult time sleeping or lying on my right side. Also short of breath. I had the effusion drained once through a thoracentesis, which did give me immediate and somewhat sustained relief.

Another time the effusion caused the sensation that the bottom lobe of my lung was just sittin' there and not working at all. The nurse told me that I was ultra sensitive to this and that not many people can "feel" this.

At the same time I get pleural effusions, I will also get cardiac effusions of mild to moderate proportions.

The effusions have always resolved on their own. Sans the time of the thoracentesis.

As far as I know, I have never had pneumonia.

So. in summary, I guess increased SOB is my main symptom of an effusion.

However, I am also asthamatic so that does a number too. As well as radiation fibrosis. And COPD and probably other stuff....who knows???lol

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For years I had pneumonia in the winter.

My sputum got yellow to green,

sharp atabbing chest pain (like a broken rib)

shortness of breath,

no fever, just a runny nose.

I am more careful with the changing weather in Canada,

during all the winter months.

During the summer it could happen also by the humidity.

Good luck with the treatment.


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Thank you everyone, and I hope the info will help others as well. It is so great to be able to come here to read or to write. It is so comforting to know each of us is not alone in this.

Jim seems the same, no better, no worse. Just a'waitin' to see the doc next week. Anyway, thank you. Margaret and Jim

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