-- Robert Preidt
THURSDAY, March 31 (HealthDay News) -- Correct and rapid
antibiotic treatment is crucial for critically ill young children
with bacterial pneumonia, says a new study.
Even a few hours' delay can lead to a longer hospital stay, said
Dr. Jennifer A. Muszynski of Nationwide Children's Hospital in
She and her colleagues looked at 45 infants and children, median
age 17 months, who had severe bacterial pneumonia and required
mechanical ventilation. Children with viral pneumonia or
hospital-acquired pneumonia were not included in the study.
The study appears in the April issue of the
Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal.
Doctors treating children with bacterial pneumonia have to
decide quickly about antibiotic treatment and base their selection
of an antibiotic on the likely cause of infection. In the meantime,
tests are performed to determine if the chosen antibiotic will be
effective. If it is not, the doctor should switch to another
antibiotic as soon as possible, the researchers explained in a
journal news release.
Of the 45 patients in this study, 71 percent were initially
treated with the correct antibiotic. When these patients and
patients whose initial antibiotic was changed after testing were
looked at as a group, the median time to treatment with the correct
antibiotic was about 10 hours, with a range of two to 38 hours.
Overall, children who received the correct antibiotic sooner
spent fewer days in the hospital. For children with pneumonia as
their only medical problem, waiting longer for correct antibiotic
treatment was associated not only with a longer hospital stay, but
with more time in the intensive care unit and on a mechanical
The American Lung Association has more about
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