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Study Questions Safety of Pneumonia Treatment Guidelines
Date:1/20/2011

ened condition that they are vulnerable to pathogens that would otherwise be trivial," noted Dr. Bruce Hirsch, attending physician in the infectious diseases division at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y. "It is a person who has suffered multiple infections already and has been exposed to multiple courses of antibiotics. It is a person with structural lung abnormalities that prevent the lungs from recovering from infections."

According to Hirsch, the new study "demonstrates high mortality rates in patients given recommended antibiotics as well as individualized antibiotics. Even in this age of sophisticated and powerful medications, adherence to the best guidelines can fail us."

For their part, the study authors "recommend that the planned, revised ATS-IDSA guidelines be reassessed before widespread implementation. Since the most common reason for non-compliance was failure to use a secondary anti-Gram-negative drug, we suggest a comparison of regimens employing MRSA treatment and single versus dual Gram-negative coverage."

The study was published in the Jan. 19 online edition of The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

More information

The American Lung Association has more about pneumonia.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCES: The Lancet Infectious Diseases, news release, Jan. 19, 2011; Bruce Hirsch, M.D., attending physician, infectious diseases division, North Shore University Hospital, Manhasset, N.Y.


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