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What is osteoarthritis?

My partner is 22, and I'm worried about her. She has been bedridden since yesterday with a really bad cough, chills, and pain in her chest. She's coughing up green stuff and I think it has blood in it. She just wants to stay home and drink echinacea. Should I take her to the hospital?

Answer

It sounds like your partner may have a bad case of pneumonia. If this is the case, she will need a course of antibiotics to ensure it clears. Even if she doesn't have pneumonia, she needs evaluated by a qualified health care professional soon to determine what she has and what treatment strategies are necessary. Pneumonia is caused by an infection of the lung tissue. It is a serious illness that, if left untreated and result in lung abscesses, septic shock, and even death (if severe enough). If your partner has spent any significant time recently in a health care facility (either a hospital or nursing home), she will need intravenous antibiotics in the hospital. If she has not spent time in a health care facility recently, then she may just need oral antibiotics. Other possibilities that cause cough, chills, and pain in her chest is a bad case of bronchitis or a lung abscess (which may need drained). Either way, she needs to be evaluated soon. I suggest you call your partner's primary care physician today and report these symptoms to him or her. You may be instructed to go to the emergency room for further evaluation and treatment. Good luck.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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