ATS publishes standard-of-care guide for community-acquired pneumonia

The American Thoracic Society (ATS) has released its guidelines for the management of adults with pneumonia. The 29-page document specifically focuses on hospital-acquired pneumonia, ventilator-associated pneumonia, and healthcare-associated pneumonia.

The guidelines, published in the latest issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, state that all patients should undergo chest radiography, although recommends against using portable chest x-ray.

Imaging should be performed "preferably posteroanterior and lateral if not intubated, as portable chest radiographs have limited accuracy," the authors wrote. "The radiograph can help define the severity of pneumonia (multilobular or not) and the presence of complications, such as effusions or cavitation" (AJRCC, February 15, 2005, Vol.171:4, p. 10).

The document was created by ATS and the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA). The joint committee was lead by Dr. Michael Niederman, chairman of the department of medicine at Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola, NY, and by Dr. Donald Craven from the department of infectious diseases at Lahey Clinic Medical Center in Burlington, MA.

By staff writers
February 16, 2005

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