Update on the Treatment and Prevention of Community-acquired Pneumonia in Children

Elias B. Chahine, PharmD, BCPS; M. Steven Mayberry, PharmD


US Pharmacist 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


The World Health Organization estimates that more than 150 million cases of pneumonia occur each year in children aged <5 years.[1] Pneumonia is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in this population, resulting in approximately 1.4 million deaths annually—more than AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined.[2] While pediatric pneumonia is more prevalent and deadly in the developing world, it is common in Europe and North America, occurring at a rate of 4 cases per 100 preschool-aged children, 2 cases per 100 children aged 5 to 9 years, and 1 case per 100 children aged 9 to 15 years.[1–3] The CDC reported that, from 2008 to 2009, the rate of infant mortality from pneumonia in the United States was 5.1 deaths per 100,000.[4]

Practice guidelines for the management of adults with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) have been demonstrated to reduce associated morbidity and mortality.[5,6] In an attempt to extrapolate these positive outcomes to the pediatric population, the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS) and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) released new (August 2011) guidelines for the management of CAP in infants and children aged >3 months.[7] This review is intended to educate pharmacists and pharmacy technicians about the proper management of CAP in immunocompetent children according to these guidelines.


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