What is pneumonia? 

Pneumonia is a common sickness that affects millions of people each year in the United States. It is an infection of the lungs that can be caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi. Bacteria are the most common cause of pneumonia in adults and tend to be the most serious. 

How is Pneumonia used to measure quality?

In this section, the numbers look at the percent of patients who had blood tests run to figure out what germ was present so the right medicine could be chosen. Only patients who came to the hospital with an active pneumonia infection are included in this data. Although children also can develop pneumonia, the way this is currently measured uses only patients age 18 or older.

View UnityPoint Health Hospital Reports

Cedar Rapids

Des Moines


Fort Dodge




Quad Cities/Muscatine

Sioux City


What happens if I am diagnosed with this? 

There are many ways you can become sick with pneumonia. Some of them include the normal bacteria or viruses living in your nose, sinuses, or mouth spreading to your lungs or the breathing in of germs directly into your lungs from someone else who has the infection.

Since pneumonia can be caused by different kinds of germs, at UnityPoint Health, we will figure out what caused the infection before giving medication to try to fight it. With knowledge, your doctor can then select the right medication once the germ has been identified. 

There are some simple habits to help you to prevent pneumonia: Wash your hands frequently, especially after blowing your nose, going to the bathroom, diapering, and before eating or making food. Don't smoke. Tobacco damages your lung's ability to fight infection. Vaccines may help prevent pneumonia in children, the elderly, and people with diabetes, asthma, emphysema, HIV, cancer, or other chronic conditions.