Although a confident diagnosis of pneumonia cannot be made on the basis of history alone, it is unlikely that the patient with none of the following symptoms will have pneumonia:

  • Fever
  • Productive cough
  • Sweating
  • Shivering
  • Myalgia
  • Dyspnoea
  • Pleuritic chest pain

The history should also identify factors which may influence the management plan if a diagnosis of pneumonia is made. These would include the following:

  • Prior or current antibiotic use
  • Allergies
  • Current medications
  • Known respiratory disease e.g. COPD
  • Co-morbidities (e.g. congestive cardiac failure, chronic renal failure)
  • Immunosuppression (through disease, or medication)
  • Social circumstances
  • Smoker
  • Age >50 years
  • New confusion reported by friend, relative or carer