Half of all hospitalised children treated with antibiotics for pneumonia did not fulfil radiological, microbiological or laboratory criteria
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionActa Paediatrica. 2021, 110 (6), 1924-1931. 10.1111/apa.15808
Aim Evaluating the management of paediatric pneumonia is important. We aimed to estimate the proportion of children receiving antibiotics for suspected community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) that were likely to have a bacterial infection. Furthermore, we described antibiotic use in relation to guidelines. Methods We conducted a prospective observational study from a paediatric department in Norway. During 2017, all admitted children aged 0–17 years receiving antibiotics for CAP were enrolled in the study. We collected relevant data and defined likely CAP as one or more of the following: radiologically confirmed pneumonia, c-reactive protein of at least 100 mg/L, positive bacterial culture from blood or pleura, detection of bacteria from the nasopharynx associated with atypical pneumonia. Results In total, 70 episodes of suspected CAP were included. Median age was 41.5 months, and 36 (51%) were girls. Of all treatments, 38 (54%) fulfilled our criteria for likely CAP. Median duration of treatment was 10 days. Of empirical treatments, 36 (57%) only involved penicillin. None of the children had neutropenia or complications, and only two needed intensive care. Conclusion Only half of children receiving antibiotics for suspected CAP were likely to have bacterial infection. Despite no obvious reason, antibiotic treatment was longer than currently recommended.