Antibiotic prescription consistent with guidelines in emergency department is associated with 30-day survival in severe community-acquired pneumonia

BACKGROUND The selection of initial empirical antibiotics is an important issue in the treatment of severe community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). This study aimed to investigate whether empirical antibiotic prescription concordant with guidelines in the emergency department (ED) affects 30-day mortality in patients with severe CAP.
METHODS We conducted a retrospective analysis of adult patients with severe CAP who were hospitalized in the ED. Severe CAP was defined according to the criteria of the 2007 Infectious Diseases Society of America/American Thoracic Society guidelines. Patients were divided into two groups according to whether they were prescribed empirical antibiotics concordant with guidelines. Multivariable Cox proportional hazard regression analysis was performed to identify the independent association between the prescription of initial empirical antibiotics concordant with the guidelines and 30-day mortality. Propensity score matching was performed to reduce selection bias between groups and Kaplan-Meier survival analysis was performed to analyze the time-to-event of 30-day survival.
RESULTS In total, 630 patients were hospitalized in the ED for severe CAP, and 179 (28.4%) died within 30 days. Antibiotics consistent with guidelines were prescribed to 359 (57.0%) patients. The 30-day mortality was significantly higher in the guideline-discordant group (p = 0.003) and multivariable Cox proportional hazard regression analysis revealed that the prescription of antibiotics discordant with the guidelines was independently associated with 30-day mortality (hazard ratio 1.43, 95% CI 1.05-1.93). After propensity score matching, there were 255 patients in each group. The 30-day mortality was lower in the group prescribed guideline-concordant antibiotics than in the group prescribed guideline-discordant antibiotics (23.9% vs. 33.3%, p = 0.024). Kaplan-Meier survival analysis showed that antibiotic prescription concordant with the guidelines resulted in higher survival rates at 30 days (p = 0.002).
CONCLUSIONS The prevalence of antibiotic prescription consistent with guidelines for severe CAP seemed to be low in the ED, and this variable was independently associated with 30-day survival.

as reported in: BMC Emerg Med. 2021 Sep 27; 21(1): 108