CJEM Articles: community-acquired pneumonia
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Survey of emergency physicians' requirements for a clinical decision rule for acute respiratory illnesses in three countriesMarch 2012 14 2Cheryl Symington, Ian G. Stiell, Jamie Brehaut, Jeffrey J. Perry, Monica Taljaard, Reena Goindi, Sandra Schneider
There are currently no widely used guidelines to determine which older patients with acute respiratory conditions require hospital admission. This study assessed the need for clinical decision rules to help determine whether hospital admission is required for patients over 50 years for three common respiratory conditions: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart failure (HF), and community-acquired pneumonia (CAP).
Emergency physicians (EPs) from the United States, Canada, and Australasia.
A random sample of EPs from the United States, Canada, and Australasia.
A modified Dillman technique with a prenotification letter and up to three postal surveys.
EP opinions regarding the need for and willingness to use clinical decision rules for emergency department (ED) patients over 50 years with COPD, HF, or CAP to predict hospital admission. We assessed the required sensitivity of each rule for return ED visit or death within 14 days.
A total of 801 responses from 1,493 surveys were received, with response rates of 55%, 60%, and 46% for Australasia, Canada, and the United States, respectively. Over 90% of EPs reported that they would consider using clinical decision rules for HF, CAP, and COPD. The median required sensitivity for death within 14 days was 97 to 98% for all conditions.
EPs are likely to adopt highly sensitive clinical decision rules to predict the need for hospital admission for patients over 50 years with COPD, HF, or CAP.
Audra Smallfield, Danielle Anstett, Dean Vlahaki, W. Ken Milne
Objective: The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations recommends that patients admitted to hospital with pneumonia receive their first dose of antibiotics within 6 hours of presenting to the emergency department (ED). Previous research in the United States indicates that rural hospitals may be better at achieving this benchmark than urban centres. This particular quality indicator has not yet been evaluated in Canada. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the target door-to-antibiotic (DTA) time of 6 hours or less could be met in a rural ED.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective chart review of patients admitted to hospital with a diagnosis of pneumonia. Descriptive data for each case was collected, including demographic and timeline information. We analyzed DTA time, antibiotic type, route of administration, hospital length of stay and disposition at discharge.
Results: We reviewed a total of 320 charts from Apr. 1, 2003, to Mar. 31, 2008. The final sample consisted of 143 patients (50.3% women) whose median age was 79 years. The median DTA time was 151 minutes and 81.8% of patients received their first dose of antibiotics within 6 hours. Patients received antibiotics either orally (47.6%), intravenously (47.6%) or both (4.8%). Single-agent respiratory fluoroquinolones were used 71.4% of the time. Median length of hospital stay was 4 days; most patients were discharged home (79.7%), 11 died, 11 were transferred and 7 were discharged to a nursing home.
Conclusion: A DTA time of 6 hours or less is achievable in a rural ED.