For children with suspected community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) who are discharged from the emergency department, outcomes do not differ between those who do and those who do not receive antibiotic prescriptions, according to a study published online March 16 in Pediatrics.
Matthew J. Lipshaw, M.D., from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and colleagues performed a prospective cohort study involving children aged 3 months to 18 years who were discharged from the emergency department with suspected CAP. The association between antibiotic prescription and treatment failure was examined among 294 propensity score-matched children.
The researchers found that treatment failure did not differ significantly for children who received antibiotics and those who did not (odds ratio, 1.0; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.45 to 2.2). There was no significant difference between those with versus without antibiotics in terms of the proportion of children with return visits with hospitalization (3.4 percent for both), initiation and/or change of antibiotics (4.8 versus 6.1 percent), or parent-reported quality-of-life measures.
“Our results suggest that opportunities exist to safely manage more children with suspected CAP treated as outpatients without antibiotics,” the authors write.