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Management of Pneumonia in the Pediatric Critical Care Unit: An Area for Antimicrobial Stewardship

[ Vol. 13 , Issue. 1 ]


Aimee M. Dassner, David P. Nicolau and Jennifer E. Girotto   Pages 49 - 66 ( 18 )


Background: Pediatric pneumonia is one of the most common causes of childhood infection requiring hospitalization and is a substantial driver of antimicrobial use among hospitalized children. About 12-20% of pediatric patients hospitalized with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) require critical care. Additionally, nosocomial pneumonias (i.e. hospital-acquired and ventilator- associated pneumonias) are responsible for 15-53% of hospital-associated infections and are the most common indication for empiric antibiotics in the pediatric intensive care unit.

Objective: Respiratory infections, especially pneumonias, are a strong area for antimicrobial stewardship program (ASP) interventions, as they have been shown to improve patient outcomes while reducing inappropriate antimicrobial use, antimicrobial resistance, and overall costs.

Method: Optimizing the selection of appropriate antimicrobial therapies is difficult for pediatric pneumonias because of the ill-defined definitive diagnostic criteria and difficulty differentiating between viral and bacterial etiology.

Result: The aim of this review is to highlight the role of antimicrobial stewardship efforts in the treatment of pneumonias in critically ill children by discussing the emerging role of diagnostic criteria, the etiology of disease, appropriate targeted antimicrobial selection, and the optimization of antibiotic dosing and pharmacodynamic targets.


HAP, pediatric antimicrobial stewardship, pediatric pneumonia, pharmacodynamics, PICU, severe CAP, VAP.


Department of Pharmacy, Connecticut Children`s Medical Center, Hartford, CT, Center for Anti-Infective Research and Development, Hartford Hospital, 80 Seymour Street, Hartford, CT 06102, Department of Pharmacy Practice, University of Connecticut, School of Pharmacy, Storrs, CT

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