Nursing home-acquired pneumonia

Clin Infect Dis. 2002 Nov 15;35(10):1205-11. doi: 10.1086/344281. Epub 2002 Oct 28.


Pneumonia is the most serious of the common infections that occur in nursing homes, with a high case-fatality rate and considerable mortality among survivors. Risk factors for nursing home-acquired pneumonia (NHAP) have been defined, and prediction models for death due to NHAP have been developed. The bacterial etiology of NHAP has been debated, but "typical" bacterial pathogens (Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, and Moraxella catarrhalis) are most important. Clinical presentation of NHAP is said to be "atypical," but this may be confounded by dementia in the nursing home resident. A recent guideline has made recommendations regarding the minimal diagnostic workup when a resident has a suspected case of pneumonia. Until recently, most guidelines for the treatment of pneumonia did not specifically address NHAP; there is some evidence that use of a quinolone alone may be an acceptable first choice of therapy for most cases. Pneumococcal and influenza vaccination have been the primary prevention measures. However, additional methods to prevent NHAP should be evaluated, including improving the oral hygiene of residents and instituting pharmacological interventions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Aged
  • Anti-Infective Agents / therapeutic use
  • Health Services for the Aged
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Nursing Homes*
  • Pneumonia / diagnosis*
  • Pneumonia / epidemiology
  • Pneumonia / mortality
  • Pneumonia / prevention & control
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Vaccination


  • Anti-Infective Agents