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Use of intravenous antibiotics for the treatment of community-acquired pneumonia in the emergency department

Authors Anita G Carrie, Thomas J Marrie,

Published 15 April 2005 Volume 2005:1(1) Pages 49—54

Anita G Carrie1, Thomas J Marrie2,
1Faculties of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2Medicine and Dentistry,  University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada
Study objective: To determine the extent of intravenous (IV) antibiotic use for community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) in emergency departments, the practice patterns in seven emergency departments serving the adult residents of one Canadian city were observed. 
Methods: An observational study of nonhospitalized adults diagnosed with CAP in seven emergency departments was conducted between November 15, 2000, and November 19, 2002. Data related to antibiotic treatment of CAP administered in the emergency department and patient-specific characteristics potentially predictive of IV treatment were collected. 
Results: A total of 3512 subjects were identified, of which 4.9% received treatment with IV antibiotics. Cefuroxime and levofloxacin were the most commonly used IV agents, while orally-treated subjects primarily received a macrolide or levofloxacin. The proportion of subjects receiving IV antibiotics differed significantly among the seven sites: 1.4%–10.6% (p < 0.0001). Logistic regression identified a number of independent predictors of receipt of IV antibiotics including risk class, temperature, respiratory rate, study year, presence of vomiting, prior antibiotic treatment, and personal care home residence. However, these predictors did not explain intersite differences.
Conclusion: Only a small proportion of patients (4.9%) presenting to the emergency department with CAP received IV antibiotics. While patient demographics and severity indicators influenced the likelihood of receipt of IV antibiotics, considerable intersite variation existed, despite adjustment for such factors.
Keywords: pneumonia, ambulatory care, antiinfective agents, infections, intravenous

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