Non-children's hospitals fall short when treating kids for pneumonia, study finds

Researchers performed a retrospective analysis to investigate how hospitals adhere to the national guidelines for community-acquired pneumonia and found only 27 percent of pediatric patients were prescribed the recommended antibiotics at non-children's hospitals, according to study published in JAMA Pediatrics.

For the study, researchers used two hospital billing databases for inpatient discharges from across the U.S. They included children from ages 1 to 17 admitted to the hospital for pneumonia between Jan. 1, 2009, and Sept. 30, 2015. Researchers also looked for patients discharged from children's hospitals and non-children's hospitals.

Researchers found 120,238 children with pneumonia were discharged from 51 children's hospitals and 65,209 were discharged from 471 non-children's hospitals. Four years after the national pediatric pneumonia guidelines were published, only 27 percent of children admitted to non-children's hospitals received therapy according to national guidelines, compared to the 61 percent who received guideline-compliant treatment in children's hospitals. National guidelines recommend penicillin, amoxicillin and ampicillin as first-line treatments for children hospitalized with pneumonia.

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