Pneumonia is an inflammation of the alveoli, the air sacs of the lung where the gas exchange of oxygen and CO2 occurs. The inflammation may be caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi, which causes the air sacs to fill with fluid or pus. For the patient, this creates symptoms of chest congestion, productive cough with phlegm or pus, fever, chills and difficulty breathing. Other symptoms that may occur include chest pain, feeling weak and tired, nausea and vomiting. Typically, pneumonia is acquired when the immune system is compromised due to illness or in the case of neonates not being fully developed.

Vapotherm High Flow Therapy Treatment (HFT)

Vapotherm high flow therapy can be an effective tool in the treatment of pneumonia.

Vapotherm provides efficient delivery of oxygen (up to 100%) and flushing of the upper airway of carbon dioxide to help reduce the work of breathing for a person experiencing shortness of breath and/or respiratory failure. This relieves the respiratory distress while antibiotics or other therapies relieve the infection.

Successful application of HFT may also prevent the need for more invasive therapies such as bi-level non-invasive ventilation and mechanical ventilation. Bi-level is contra-indicated for patients with pneumonia and mechanical ventilation is a known cause of pneumonia.

By delivering air and oxygen at body temperature with humidification, Vapotherm not only helps to prevent drying and destruction of the nasal tissue but also helps to re-hydrate the upper airway and improve mobilization of secretions and airway clearance.

Additional treatments

Antibiotics are commonly used to treat pneumonia caused by bacteria. The type of antibiotic used depends on factors such as patient’s age, severity of symptoms and location of treatment. Anti-virals can be an effective treatment for certain types of viruses that cause pneumonia. At this time, there are no proven medications to treat pneumonia caused by the flu virus.

Oxygen therapy is prescribed for patients that are found to have low levels of oxygen in the bloodstream. Patients experiencing respiratory failure will be placed on ventilatory support, typically administered in the ICU.

For information on contraindications, please visit the Precision Flow product page.


5-10 million people in the US contract pneumonia each year.
1 million require hospitalization.

Children younger than 2 and adults over 65 are at the greatest risk of contracting pneumonia.

Patients most likely to be admitted to hospitals for pneumonia are those over 65, or who have other health problems such as COPD, heart failure, etc.

People are admitted to the hospital when:
  • Condition is degrading or failing to improve
  • Difficulty breathing is becoming life-threatening