Antibiotic guidelines ignored for most kids with community-acquired pneumonia, study finds

Even though the routine use of diagnostic testing and antibiotics is not recommended for children with community-acquired pneumonia, a new study found that these patients do commonly undergo several tests, and most are given antibiotics.

For the study, published Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, researchers examined a national sample of more than 6 million outpatient pediatric patients with community-acquired pneumonia between 2008 and 2015. The patients ranged in age from 1 to 6 years old.

Researchers found that clinicians obtained a complete blood count for 8.6 percent of the patients, and 43 percent underwent radiography tests. A majority of patients (73.9 percent) were given antibiotics. This could contribute to the rise in antibiotic resistance among young children, making it harder for them to fight off diseases.

There were no changes in diagnostic testing or antibiotic use over time.

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