Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Does pneumonia require hospitalization?"

ZocdocAnswersDoes pneumonia require hospitalization?


How can I tell whether it's time to take my mother to a hospital for her pneumonia? She's in her 50s and not in great health.


No matter how healthy your mother is, she should be evaluated by a physician for her symptoms right away. The answer to this question of whether she would require hospitalization depends on many factors. There is a formula which is sometimes used to gauge how likely it is for someone with pneumonia to require hospitalization. The factors include the patient's age, vital signs, and other medical conditions that they already have. Most doctors see the patient with pneumonia, gather all the information about them and their current condition, and make a judgment call on how likely they are to do well as an outpatient. Your description of your mother as in her 50s and not in great health makes me feel like she would probably be a better candidate for hospitalization, if she does have pneumonia. If your mother is showing signs of pneumonia such as fever, chills, cough, and/or fatigue, then she should at least be taken to her primary care physicians office the same day. If this appointment cannot be made then she should go to the emergency room. The physician that evaluates her will determine whether or not she needs to be hospitalized for her pneumonia treatment.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.