Health care-associated pneumonia is a relatively new classification of pneumonia that includes community-dwelling pneumonia patients having contact with the health care system. Current data indicate that health care-associated pneumonia patients present with more severe disease, are more likely to be infected with drug-resistant pathogens, and suffer increased mortality compared with community-acquired pneumonia patients. Guidelines recommend that these patients receive empiric antibiotics similar to those recommended for nosocomial pneumonia; however, it is not currently known if outcomes are improved when health care-associated pneumonia patients are treated with these therapies. In addition, the individual health care-associated pneumonia risk factors are based on limited data and are a poor predictor of patients likely to be infected with drug-resistant pathogens. Many questions remain on how to most appropriately care for this growing group of pneumonia patients. This review is an evidence-based discussion of current health care-associated pneumonia data, the individual health care-associated pneumonia risk factors, and limitations and additional considerations for the health care-associated pneumonia classification system.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.