BACKGROUND: Hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP) is defined as radiologically confirmed pneumonia occurring ≥48h after hospitalization, in non-intubated patients. Empirical treatment regimens use broad-spectrum antimicrobials.
AIM: To evaluate the accuracy of the diagnosis of HAP and to describe the demographic and microbiological features of patients with HAP.
METHODS: Medical and surgical inpatients receiving intravenous antimicrobials for a clinical diagnosis of HAP at a UK tertiary care hospital between April 2013 and 2014 were identified. Demographic and clinical details were recorded.
FINDINGS: A total of 166 adult patients with a clinical diagnosis of HAP were identified. Broad-spectrum antimicrobials were prescribed, primarily piperacillin-tazobactam (57.2%) and co-amoxiclav (12.5%). Sputum from 24.7% of patients was obtained for culture. Sixty-five percent of patients had radiological evidence of new/progressive infiltrate at the time of HAP treatment, therefore meeting HAP diagnostic criteria (2005 American Thoracic Society/Infectious Diseases Society of America guidelines). Radiologically confirmed HAP was associated with higher levels of inflammatory markers and sputum culture positivity. Previous surgery and/or endotracheal intubation were associated with radiologically confirmed HAP. A bacterial pathogen was identified from 17/35 sputum samples from radiologically confirmed HAP patients. These were Gram-negative bacilli (N = 11) or Staphylococcus aureus (N = 6). Gram-negative bacteria tended to be resistant to co-amoxiclav, but susceptible to ciprofloxacin, piperacillin-tazobactam and meropenem. Five of the six S. aureus isolates were meticillin susceptible and all were susceptible to doxycycline.
CONCLUSION: In ward-level hospital practice 'HAP' is an over-used diagnosis that may be inaccurate in 35% of cases when objective radiological criteria are applied. Radiologically confirmed HAP represents a distinct clinical and microbiological phenotype. Potential risk factors were identified that could represent targets for preventive interventions.
- Aged, 80 and over
- Cross Infection
- Diagnostic Tests, Routine
- Radiography, Thoracic
- Retrospective Studies
- Tertiary Care Centers
- United Kingdom
- Journal Article
- Observational Study