Critical Issues in the Management of Adult Patients Presenting to the Emergency Department with Community-Acquired Pneumonia
Patient Guideline Summary
Publication Date: October 1, 2020
This patient summary means to discuss key recommendations from the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) for critical issues in the management of adult patients presenting to the emergency department with community-acquired pneumonia. It is limited to adults 18 years of age and older and should not be used as a reference for children.
- Community-acquired pneumonia is a lung infection acquired outside of medical care facilities.
- Note: pneumonia is caused when an infectious agent enters the lungs. It is more common in lungs compromised by diseases like emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and cancer.
- Note: symptoms include productive cough, fever, and shortness of breath.
- This patient summary focuses on the management of pneumonia in the emergency department.
- The doctors’ decision to treat at home or in the hospital can be aided using either the Pneumonia Severity Index (PSI), the 2007 IDSA/ATS Minor Criteria, or the CURB-65 decision aids.
- Blood biomarkers and other tests (such as procalcitonin and/or C-reactive protein) are not considered helpful in disposition decisions.
- An injection of antibiotics prior to oral treatment is an individual decision to be made by the emergency doctors.
- ACEP: American College Of Emergency Physicians
American College of Emergency Physicians Clinical Policies Subcommittee (Writing Committee) on Community-Acquired Pneumonia; Smith MD, Fee C, Mace SE, Maughan B, Perkins JC Jr, Kaji A, Wolf SJ. Clinical Policy: Critical Issues in the Management of Adult Patients Presenting to the Emergency Department With Community-Acquired Pneumonia. Ann Emerg Med. 2021 Jan;77(1):e1-e57. doi:10.1016/j.annemergmed.2020.10.024. PMID: 33349374.
The information in this patient summary should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Contact a health care provider if you have questions about your health.