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September 2011
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IDSA, PIDS Release Guidelines for Treating CAP in Children

The first national guidelines for the management of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) in infants and children are now available. Developed by IDSA and the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, the guidelines are online and appear in the Oct. 1 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases.

The guidelines are designed to provide physicians who care for children with a roadmap to the most scientifically valid diagnosis and treatment recommendations. They also place an emphasis on preventing bacterial pneumonia through immunization, including annual influenza vaccination for children 6 months and older, and for parents and caregivers of infants 6 months and younger.

Topics in the guidelines include:

  • site-of-care management decisions
  • diagnostic testing
  • anti-infective treatment
  • adjunctive surgical and non-anti-infective therapy
  • management of children not responding to treatment
  • discharge criteria
  • prevention

“Diagnostic methods and treatments that work well in adults may be too risky and not have the desired result in children,” said John S. Bradley, MD, FIDSA, lead author of the guidelines and professor and chief of the division of infectious diseases at the University of California at San Diego Department of Pediatrics. “With these guidelines, we are hopeful that the standard and quality of care children receive for community-acquired pneumonia will be consistent from doctor to doctor—providing much better treatment outcomes.”

For each of the guidelines’ specific recommendations, the strength of each as well as the quality of evidence for each is noted. The document also notes the lack of solid evidence in some areas, often due to the ethical challenges of studying children, and calls for research in specific areas.

The guidelines have been endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Emergency Physicians, the American Society of Microbiology, the American Thoracic Society, the Society for Hospital Medicine, and the Society of Critical Care Medicine.

The CAP guidelines are available online and are also being developed in both mobile device and pocketcard format for use at the point of care. Other IDSA guidelines are also available on the IDSA website, including guidelines available in these formats.
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