Community-acquired pneumonia is the leading infectious cause of death in developed countries. Up to 60% of patients with pneumonia have to be hospitalized and the overall mortality of those patients is 10% but increases considerably, up to 30%, in the most severe cases and in those who experience treatment failure. In addition, patients with pneumonia after discharge may be affected for a long time of malaise, chronic illnesses decompensation and severe cardiovascular complications.
For the correct management of patients with pneumonia, an individualized antibiotic treatment is needed. Selecting the most appropriate antibiotic in each case is crucial to reduce antibiotic resistance and side-effects. The rapid diagnosis of disease and the follow-up of patients after the start of the treatment are important issues to take into account to avoid complications.
The review published in The Lancet has been prepared by making a systematic search of the most relevant and recent scientific publications that focus on community-acquired pneumonia. The three major clinical guidelines have also been reviewed. "This seminar wants to be an update on this disease, since the last review in the magazine was made 10 years ago," explains Dr. Torres. "It could change the clinical practice, because in recent times there have been published numerous articles related to pneumonia treatment and management of patients".
In this regard, a team led by Dr. Torres published last February an article in the journal JAMA about the ability of steroids, a group of anti-inflammatory drugs, to reduce the failure in the treatment of severe pneumonia and mortality. The recommendations of this study about the treatment of the disease already applied to the Hospital.
Elena Prina, Otavio T. Ranzani, Antoni Torres.
The Lancet. 2015 Aug 13. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(15)60733-4.