Investigations to consider include:
- chest radiology - if there is tachypnoea and crepitation
- full blood count
- C-reactive protein
- blood cultures
- urea and electrolytes
- cough swab or sputum
- blood gases may be indicated in the very sick patient
Findings such as a neutrophilia or a raised C-reactive protein level may be suggestive, but are not diagnostic of a bacterial infection.
"GPs will often have to make a diagnosis based on clinical features alone since other diagnostic tools such as chest Xray or sputum and blood culture may not be immediately available (1)." Ref: Drugs and Therapeutics Bulletin (1997), 35 (12), 89-92.
Last reviewed 01/2018