Administration of first hospital antibiotics for community-acquired pneumonia: does timeliness affect outcomes?

Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2005 Apr;18(2):151-6. doi: 10.1097/01.qco.0000160905.94684.91.


Purpose of review: Associations between processes of care for hospitalized community-acquired pneumonia patients and clinical outcomes are important because of the high incidence of such admissions and substantial related mortality. Several studies have examined these associations.

Recent findings: Large retrospective studies of older patients have demonstrated associations between time to first dose as short as 4 h and length of stay and mortality during and after hospitalization. Results of smaller studies have been less consistent. The association appears to be strongest among older patients who have not received antibiotics prior to arrival at the hospital.

Summary: A significant and causal relationship appears to exist between antibiotic timing and improved outcomes, especially among older patients. Even modest improvements in timeliness of antibiotic administration could impact a substantial number of lives because of the high incidence of community-acquired pneumonia hospitalization.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Community-Acquired Infections / drug therapy*
  • Community-Acquired Infections / mortality
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Humans
  • Pneumonia, Bacterial / drug therapy*
  • Pneumonia, Bacterial / mortality
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents