Cleveland Clinic: New treatment tactic can improve pneumonia outcomes

Hospitals can decrease their use of antibiotics and shorten hospital stays of some pneumonia patients by switching from IV antibiotics to oral antibiotic treatments sooner, according to a study conducted by Cleveland Clinic researchers. 

Current guidelines recommend switching patients with community-acquired pneumonia from IV to oral options once they are clinically stable — or after about three days — but this can be shortened, an April 21 news release from Cleveland Clinic said.

Among 378,041 adult patients from 642 U.S. hospitals between 2010 and 2015, about 22,600 received oral antibiotics earlier than three days and did not note worse outcomes than their counterparts, the study, published April 3 in Clinical Infectious Diseases, found. 

"Community-acquired pneumonia is a leading cause of hospitalizations and antibiotic use," Abhishek Deshpande, MD, PhD, one of the study's lead authors and an assistant professor of medicine at Cleveland Clinic, said in the release. "Optimizing the delivery of antibiotics is crucial, as prolonged exposure can lead to increased antibiotic resistance and healthcare-associated infections. Our research suggests many more patients could be switched earlier without compromising outcomes."

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