Hospitalized community-acquired pneumonia in the elderly: an Australian case-cohort study.
BACKGROUND Community acquired pneumonia (CAP) occurs in approximately two per 1000 of the adult population per year. About 2% of adult overnight hospital admissions are due to CAP and there is a continuing mortality rate of 7-10%. OBJECTIVE To present an approach for the community and hospital assessment and management of CAP based on current concepts and evidence. DISCUSSION Clinical and radiological assessments are unable to identify the nature of the causative organism. However, knowledge of the patient risk profile and a clinical severity assessment enable appropriate management decisions to be made. Early antibiotic therapy according to the guidelines and appropriate supportive management should reduce CAP mortality. It is essential that the CAP patient is followed to ensure radiological resolution. The incidence of community acquired pneumonia (CAP) can be reduced by rigid application of National Health and Medical Research Council (NH&MRC) vaccination recommendations for pneumococcal and influenza immunisation.