Hospital-acquired pneumonia in Child
One additional consideration that distinguishes HAP from community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is that HAP is defined as an infection not incubating at the time of hospitalization and occurring 48 hours or longer after hospital admission. This distinction has implications on the types of pathogens that are suspected as etiologic agents of infection, the appropriate modes of diagnosis, and the appropriate empiric antimicrobial regimens chosen for treatment.
The incidence of HAP is approximately 5-10 cases per 1000 hospital admissions in adults, but research is lacking in the pediatric population. It is one of the most common causes of hospital-acquired (nosocomial) infection in the United States and Europe. HAP can be viral or bacterial. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and influenza are the predominant viral pathogens. Common bacterial pathogens include gram-negative organisms such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter spp, Enterobacter spp, and gram-positive cocci such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Streptococcus pneumoniae pneumonia.
Risk factors for acquiring HAP include intensive care unit (ICU) admission, intubation, and mechanical ventilation, which together account for 90% of cases. Other risk factors include recent surgery, burns / trauma, recent antibiotic use, and chronic underlying medical illness.
HAP carries a high risk for morbidity and possible mortality. Not all patients are at equal risk for multidrug-resistant pathogens, however, and the primary risk factor associated in the literature with the development of multidrug-resistant HAP is prior exposure to intravenous (IV) antibiotics in the preceding 90 days. With respect specifically to MRSA pneumonia, there is some evidence that positive MRSA screening from nasal samples increases the risk of MRSA pneumonia, although the evidence is not strong enough for this to be considered a risk factor. Evolving data supports a strong negative predictive value of a screening MRSA nasal swab polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay; in studies, the negative predictive value has been reported as high as 97%-99.2%. Risk factors for infection with Pseudomonas also include a history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, structural lung disease, and use of mechanical ventilation.
HAP is often diagnosed by chest radiograph prompted by clinical symptoms and signs of a respiratory infection. Patients may have noted dyspnea and sputum production on examination, as well as focal or diffuse lung findings of rhonchi or crackles on auscultation, with the occasional finding of egophony indicating lung consolidation. While sputum culture is generally beneficial to guide and narrow empiric antibiotic therapy, it is often difficult to obtain and often limited by oropharyngeal contamination.
Complications of HAP are common, occurring in 50% of cases. These include, but are not limited to, development of sepsis or septic shock, renal failure, and respiratory failure with the potential to progress to need for mechanical ventilation and possible development of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). HAP carries the highest mortality rate of all nosocomial infections, with a directly attributable mortality of 14% for non-ICU HAP and an overall mortality rate of 20%. Mortality rates vary greatly depending on the patient substrate and location, ranging from 7% on general wards to as high as 62% in bone marrow transplant units.
Note: To view x-rays and other imagery, see individual diagnoses.
Related topic: Haemophilus influenzae pneumonia
J18.9 – Pneumonia, unspecified organism
425464007 – Hospital acquired pneumonia
Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls