Demographics, guidelines, and clinical experience in severe community-acquired pneumonia

Crit Care. 2008;12 Suppl 6(Suppl 6):S2. doi: 10.1186/cc7025.


Mortality in patients with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) who require intubation or support with inotropes in an intensive care unit setting remains extremely high (up to 50%). Systematic use of objective severity-of-illness criteria, such as the Pneumonia Severity Index (PSI), British Thoracic Society CURB-65 (an acronym meaning Confusion, Urea, Respiratory rate, Blood pressure, age >/=65 years), or criteria developed by the Infectious Diseases Society of America/American Thoracic Society, to aid site-of-care decisions for pneumonia patients is emerging as a step forward in patient management. Experience with the Predisposition, Infection, Response, and Organ dysfunction (PIRO) score, which incorporates key signs and symptoms of sepsis and important CAP risk factors, may represent an improvement in staging severe CAP. In addition, it has been suggested that implementing a simple care bundle in the emergency department will improve management of CAP, using five evidence-based variables, with immediate pulse oxymetry and oxygen assessment as the cornerstone and initial step of treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Community-Acquired Infections / epidemiology*
  • Community-Acquired Infections / etiology
  • Community-Acquired Infections / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units / standards*
  • Pneumonia / epidemiology*
  • Pneumonia / etiology
  • Pneumonia / therapy*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic / standards*
  • Severity of Illness Index