Conditions & Treatments


Empyema is a condition in which pus and fluid from infected tissue collects in a body cavity. This is usually in reference to a collection of pus in the space around the lungs, but it can refer to pus in the gall bladder or the pelvic cavity. 


  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Bad breath
  • Chest pain
  • Dehydration
  • Bloody sputum or green sputum
  • If gallbladder:
    • Pain in right side
    • High fever
    • Rigidity of muscles
Problems that occur from Empyema:
  • Can be life threatening
  • If lung, can rupture into airway
  • Infection may spread to heart or brain


  • IV antibiotics
  • Supplemental oxygen
  • Stage 1: Surgical drainage
  • Stage 2: If lung, may place a chest tube
  • Stage 3: If lung, decortication, or peeling away of the fibrous outer layer of the lung
  • If gallbladder: Surgical removal
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Willis Knighton Health