Pneumonia: Assessment

Pneumonia: An infection in lung tissues causes the alveoli to become swollen and porous (as in the above diagram), so red and white blood cells move from the bloodstream into the alveoli. The alveoli become filled, or consolidated,  with bacteria, fluid and blood cells that replace air.  

Assessment findings include:


  • increased respiratory rate
  • increased pulse rate
  • guarding and lag on expansion on affected side
  • children with pneumonia may have nasal flaring and/or intercostal and sternal retractions


  • chest expansion decreased on involved side
  • tactile fremitus is increased


  • dull over affected area


  • breath sounds louder than normal.
  • bronchophony, egophony, whispered pectoriloquy present
  • Crackles, fine to medium

Instant Feedback:

A patient with pneumonia may be expected to have louder than normal breath sounds, and increased tactile fremitus.

From the University of Utah:

Also, the American Lung Association's site for info on pneumonia