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Pneumonia is a serious lung infection that causes difficulty breathing, fever, cough and fatigue. These quality measures show some recommended treatments for pneumonia. To compare St. Mary's results with other hospitals in the United States, please visit

Better than 
or equal to 
US average 
Near US 
(within 10 
Worse than US 
average (greater 
than 10 points) 
 N/A - no 
Pneumonia Treatment
(Please pause over an indicator for details)
Indicator US
Oct 2013**
Oct 2013**
St. Mary's 
Use of Blood Cultures Before 
1st Dose of Antibiotics
97% 98% 100% of
22 cases
Initial Antibiotic Received 
Within 6 Hours of Arrival
95% 97% 100% of 
24 cases
Use of Influenza Vaccination 86% 92% NA
Use of Pneumococcal Vaccination 88% 92% 94.6% of 
111 cases

*As of 10/2/13 
** This comparative data was collected Oct 2011 to Sept 2012.

Pneumonia is caused by a viral or bacterial infection that fills your lungs with mucus. This lowers the oxygen level in your blood. Symptoms of pneumonia can include the following:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • "Wet" cough; your mucus may look green or bloody
  • Chest pain
  • Fever and chills
  • Fatigue

For more information about lung health, check the American Lung Association's website, or MedlinePlus for health information from the National Library of Medicine. 

Oxygenation Assessment

Pneumonia can lower the oxygen in your blood because the air spaces in your lungs fill with mucus. The oxygen you breathe does not get into your bloodstream. It is important that the amount of oxygen in your blood be measured within 24 hours of arriving at the hospital to see if you need oxygen therapy. The assessment may include an ABG arterial blood gas tests or pulse oximetry (electrodes attached to a part of your body like a finger, earlobe, or skin fold).

Blood Cultures Before First Antibiotic

Different types of bacteria can cause pneumonia. A blood culture is a test that lets the health care provider know which bacteria may have caused your pneumonia, and which antibiotic should be prescribed. It is best to do the blood culture within 24 hours of your arrival at the hospital, before antibiotics are started. It is also important to start antibiotics as soon as possible. A blood culture lets your health care provider know how best to treat you and if any precautions are necessary to prevent the spread of your illness.  

Initial Antibiotic Received within 4 Hours of Arrival

Antibiotics are used to treat adults with pneumonia caused by bacteria. Early treatment with antibiotics can cure your bacterial pneumonia and reduce the possibility of complications. This information shows the percent of patients who were given their first dose of antibiotics within 4 hours of arrival at the hospital. Patients who get pneumonia during their stay at the hospital are not counted in this measure. 

Initial Antibiotic Selection

Pneumonia is a lung infection that is usually caused by bacteria or a virus. If your pneumonia is caused by bacteria, hospitals will treat the infection with antibiotics. Different bacteria are treated with different antibiotics. Smoking Cessation
Smoking damages your lungs and can make it hard to breath. Smoking increases your chances of getting pneumonia or other chronic lung diseases like emphysema and bronchitis. Smoking is also linked to lung cancer, heart disease, and stroke, and can cause premature death. It is important for you to get information to help you quit smoking before you leave the hospital. Quitting may reduce your chance of getting pneumonia again.  

If you smoke, please quit.

For information to help you quit, call:
Maine Tobacco Hotline: 1-800- 207-1230
American Cancer Society:1-800-464-3102
American Heart Association: 1-800-937-0944   

St. Mary's Health System • 93 Campus Avenue • Lewiston, ME 04240