Time to first antibiotic dose for patients hospitalised with community-acquired pneumonia

Dafna Yahav, Leonard Leibovici, Elad Goldberg, Jihad Bishara, Mical Paul
International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents 2013, 41 (5): 410-3
Time to first antibiotic dose (TFAD) of 4h or 8h has been suggested as a quality measure for adult patients hospitalised with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). Clinical evidence leading to implementation of this quality measure came from two large, retrospective studies. Following these studies, several prospective studies were conducted, with variable results. In a compilation of all observational studies to date, no significant benefit for short TFAD in terms of all-cause mortality was observed [unadjusted odds ratio (OR) = 1.01, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.79-1.29, 13 studies; adjusted OR = 0.95, 95% CI 0.73-1.23, 14 studies]. Implementation of a requirement for short TFAD for CAP in the emergency department or other acute medical care setting may lead to unnecessary antibiotic treatment. We believe that attention should be shifted to early appropriate empirical antibiotic treatment for severe sepsis in hospital regardless of the source of infection, rather than focusing on CAP.

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