Nav: Home

Many kids with pneumonia get unnecessary antibiotics, chest X-rays

June 04, 2019

Preschool children with community-acquired pneumonia often receive unnecessary tests and treatment at outpatient clinics and emergency departments, according to a nationally representative study led by Todd Florin, MD, MSCE, from Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago. While most cases of community-acquired pneumonia in young children are caused by viruses, for which antibiotics provide no benefit, antibiotics were prescribed in nearly 74 percent of outpatient visits. Chest x-rays were obtained in 43 percent of visits, despite guidelines against routine use for young children with pneumonia in an outpatient setting. Findings were published in the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society.

"It is concerning that so many young children with community-acquired pneumonia are receiving antibiotics that are not needed," says Dr. Florin, who heads the Grainger Initiative in Pediatric Emergency Medicine Research at Lurie Children's and is Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. "In addition to going against evidence and clinical guidelines, overuse of antibiotics contributes to antibiotic resistance, which threatens future availability of effective treatments for bacterial infections, while also leading to antibiotic-associated side effects that can range from mild to life-threatening."

Community-acquired pneumonia is one of the most common infections in children, accounting for about 1.5 million healthcare visits each year in the United States.

In 2011, clinical guidelines for pediatric community-acquired pneumonia were issued by the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society and the Infectious Diseases Society of America. These groups recommend against routine chest x-ray, complete blood count and blood cultures, as well as against routine antibiotics for preschool children treated as outpatients.

To evaluate the effect of this guideline, Dr. Florin and colleagues examined national data representing an estimated 6.3 million visits to outpatient clinics and emergency departments during 2008-2015 by children 1 to 6 years of age with community-acquired pneumonia. They found that high use of non-recommended diagnostic tests and antibiotics persisted over the entire study period, and that the 2011 guidelines had no impact on practice.

"Focused quality-improvement efforts are needed to increase guideline adherence to ensure that these children are receiving appropriate, evidence-based care," says Dr. Florin. "We especially need to focus on reducing antibiotic overuse, which is critically important."
-end-
This study was supported, in part, by the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health (grant K23 AI121325 to Dr. Florin).

Research at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago is conducted through the Stanley Manne Children's Research Institute. The Manne Research Institute is focused on improving child health, transforming pediatric medicine and ensuring healthier futures through the relentless pursuit of knowledge. Lurie Children's is ranked as one of the nation's top children's hospitals by U.S. News & World Report. It is the pediatric training ground for Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Last year, the hospital served more than 212,000 children from 49 states and 51 countries.

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago

Related Antibiotics Articles:

Antibiotics not necessary for most toothaches, according to new ADA guideline
The American Dental Association (ADA) announced today a new guideline indicating that in most cases, antibiotics are not recommended for toothaches.
Antibiotics with novel mechanism of action discovered
Many life-threatening bacteria are becoming increasingly resistant to existing antibiotics.
Resistance can spread even without the use of antibiotics
Antibiotic resistance does not spread only where and when antibiotics are used in large quantities, ETH researchers conclude from laboratory experiments.
Selective antibiotics following nature's example
Chemists from Konstanz develop selective agents to combat infectious diseases -- based on the structures of natural products
Antibiotics can inhibit skin lymphoma
New research from the LEO Foundation Skin Immunology Research Center at the University of Copenhagen shows, surprisingly, that antibiotics inhibit cancer in the skin in patients with rare type of lymphoma.
Antibiotics may treat endometriosis
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found that treating mice with an antibiotic reduces the size of lesions caused by endometriosis.
How antibiotics help spread resistance
Bacteria can become insensitive to antibiotics by picking up resistance genes from the environment.
Overuse of antibiotics not what the doctor ordered
With increased use of antibiotics worldwide linked to growing antibiotic resistance, a world-first study co-authored by a QUT researcher has highlighted the growing impact of non-prescription supply of antibiotics in community pharmacies, and the urgent need for better enforcement of laws.
Bacterial armor could be a new target for antibiotics
Boosting efforts to fight antibiotic resistance, Stanford researchers have found that a thin membrane, thought to be just a shrink wrap around some bacterial cell walls, has structural properties critical for survival.
Combining antibiotics changes their effectiveness
The effectiveness of antibiotics can be altered by combining them with each other, non-antibiotic drugs or even with food additives.
More Antibiotics News and Antibiotics Current Events

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2019.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Risk
Why do we revere risk-takers, even when their actions terrify us? Why are some better at taking risks than others? This hour, TED speakers explore the alluring, dangerous, and calculated sides of risk. Guests include professional rock climber Alex Honnold, economist Mariana Mazzucato, psychology researcher Kashfia Rahman, structural engineer and bridge designer Ian Firth, and risk intelligence expert Dylan Evans.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#541 Wayfinding
These days when we want to know where we are or how to get where we want to go, most of us will pull out a smart phone with a built-in GPS and map app. Some of us old timers might still use an old school paper map from time to time. But we didn't always used to lean so heavily on maps and technology, and in some remote places of the world some people still navigate and wayfind their way without the aid of these tools... and in some cases do better without them. This week, host Rachelle Saunders...
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dolly Parton's America: Neon Moss
Today on Radiolab, we're bringing you the fourth episode of Jad's special series, Dolly Parton's America. In this episode, Jad goes back up the mountain to visit Dolly's actual Tennessee mountain home, where she tells stories about her first trips out of the holler. Back on the mountaintop, standing under the rain by the Little Pigeon River, the trip triggers memories of Jad's first visit to his father's childhood home, and opens the gateway to dizzying stories of music and migration. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.