Empyema is a pleural infection in which pus forms. Your body produces pus, a viscous, discolored fluid that may be white, yellow, pink, or green to help fight infection. It is made up of germs, dead tissue, and white blood cells.

The pleural space is a hollow space (cavity) beneath your chest wall and between your lungs. If left untreated, empyema may worsen and could prove deadly.


It might be upsetting and difficult to have an empyema. This condition may cause:

  • fever and sweats at night
  • lack of energy
  • having trouble breathing
  • weight loss
  • chest ache
  • coughing
  • the production of pus-containing mucous


To assist in the diagnosis of empyema, a doctor may request the following tests:

Imaging tests. Your doctor can determine if there is fluid in your pleural space using X-rays and a CT scan. An ultrasound 4aids in determining how much fluid is present in the pleural space and directs the collection of fluid samples. The fluid sample will then be sent to a lab for examination and cultivation.

Blood tests. A little quantity of blood will be drawn from a vein in your arm during a blood test using a thin needle. The sample will be used to test the C-reactive protein (CRP), examine for a high white blood cell count, and do a bacteria culture.


The following medications will be recommended by a doctor to treat empyema cases.


Some individuals will only need intravenous (IV) antibiotics administered straight into a vein.

Chest Drain

Some individuals may need a chest drain in addition to antibiotics. A flexible plastic tube called a chest drain is used to drain fluid from the afflicted region after being placed through the chest wall.

Before inserting the drain, the region where the tube will go is numbed, and the patient may also be given a little sedative. While the chest drain is in, painkillers are administered to treat any discomfort. Until all of the fluid has been drained from the chest and the lungs have inflated completely, the chest tube is often left in place.

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