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Med J Aust. 2005 Nov 21;183(10):520-4.

Empiric management of community-acquired pneumonia in Australian emergency departments.

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1
NSW Therapeutic Advisory Group Inc., PO Box 766, Darlinghurst, NSW 2010, Australia.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To describe empiric community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) management in Australian hospital emergency departments (EDs) and evaluate this against national guidelines, including use of the pneumonia severity index and antibiotic selection.

DESIGN:

A multicentre, cross-sectional, retrospective audit, April 2003 to February 2005.

SETTING:

37 Australian hospitals: 22 principal referral hospitals, six large major city hospitals, four large regional hospitals, four medium hospitals and one private hospital.

PARTICIPANTS:

Adult patients with a diagnosis of CAP made in the ED. Data on 20 consecutive CAP ED presentations were collected in participating hospitals.

OUTCOME MEASURES:

Documented use of the pneumonia severity index, initial antibiotic therapy prescribed in the ED, average length of stay, inpatient mortality, and concordance with national guidelines.

RESULTS:

691 CAP presentations were included. Pneumonia severity index use was documented in 5% of cases. Antibiotic therapy covering common bacterial causes of CAP was prescribed in 67% of presentations, although overall concordance with national guidelines was 18%. Antibiotic prescribing was discordant due to inadequate empiric antimicrobial cover, allergy status (including contraindication to penicillin), inappropriate route of administration and/or inappropriate antibiotic choice according to recommendations. There was no significant difference between concordant and discordant antibiotic prescribing episodes in average length of stay (5.0 v 5.7 days; P = 0.22) or inpatient mortality (1.6% v 4.1%; chi2 = 1.82; P = 0.18).

CONCLUSIONS:

Antibiotic therapy for CAP prescribed in Australian EDs varied. Concordance with national CAP guidelines was generally low. Targeted interventions are required to improve concordance.

PMID:
16296965
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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