Wednesday, March 05, 2008


What is healthcare-associated pneumonia and how is it managed?

What is healthcare-associated pneumonia and how is it managed?

Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2008 Apr

Carratalà J, Garcia-Vidal C.
Infectious Disease Service, Hospital Universitari de Bellvitge, Institut dʼInvestigació Biomèdica de Bellvitge (IDIBELL), University of Barcelona, LʼHospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Pneumonia developing before hospital admission in patients in close contact with the health system was recently termed 'healthcare-associated pneumonia' and proposed as a new category of respiratory infection. We focus on the recent literature concerning the epidemiology, causative organisms, antibiotic susceptibilities, and outcomes of and empirical antibiotic therapy for this condition.

RECENT FINDINGS: The reported incidence of healthcare-associated pneumonia among patients requiring hospitalization for pneumonia ranges from 17% to 67%. Hospitalization within 90 days before pneumonia, attending a dialysis clinic and residing in a nursing home were the most common criteria for healthcare-associated pneumonia. Compared with patients with community-acquired pneumonia, those with healthcare-associated pneumonia are older, have greater co-morbidity, and are more likely to have aspiration pneumonia and pneumonia caused by antibiotic-resistant pathogens. Patients with healthcare-associated pneumonia also more frequently initially receive an inappropriate antibiotic therapy, have higher case fatality rates and have longer hospital stay.

SUMMARY: Many patients hospitalized with pneumonia via the emergency department have healthcare-associated pneumonia. There are significant differences in the spectrum of causative organisms and antibiotic susceptibilities between healthcare-associated and community-acquired pneumonia. Physicians should differentiate patients with healthcare-associated pneumonia from those with community-acquired pneumonia to promote a targeted approach when selecting initial antibiotic therapy.

Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins

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