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Empiric antibiotic prescribing for patients with community-acquired pneumonia: where can we improve?

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Abstract Background: 

Community acquired pneumonia is one of the most common infections for which antibiotics are prescribed in Australia. Methods: 

We audited empiric antibiotic prescribing for 392 adults with community-acquired pneumonia. Results: 

Only 61.9% of patients received empiric antibiotic coverage for both typical and atypical pathogens. Of those who required intensive care unit management, 34.6% did not receive antibiotic cover for atypical pneumonia pathogens within the first 24 h. Approximately 21.9% of patients reporting antibiotic allergies were given antibiotics to which they had a documented allergy. Conclusion: 

Efforts to improve prescribing practices could be focused towards identifying patients with severe illness early and improving recognition of documented allergies.

Keywords: adult; antibiotics; community-acquired pneumonia

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Victorian Infectious Diseases Service 2: Emergency Department, The Royal Melbourne Hospital

Publication date: March 1, 2008

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