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The Most Underrealized Pneumonia: Health Care-Associated Pneumonia

Eiland, Edward H. III PharmD, MBA, BCPS-ID*; Patel, Jay MD; Ibrahim, Farrah MD; Hassoun, Ali MD

Infectious Diseases in Clinical Practice: January 2011 - Volume 19 - Issue 1 - p 25-28
doi: 10.1097/IPC.0b013e3181f5e9c1
Review Articles

This article reviews the pathogenesis, epidemiologic mechanism, diagnosis, and management of health care-associated pneumonia with the purpose of ensuring that this infectious disease is recognized by clinicians early on and treated appropriately upon patient presentation. Health care-associated pneumonia is a unique infectious process and thus is oftentimes unrealized in the clinical setting. It differs from community-acquired pneumonia with respect to pathogens, prognosis, and subsequent outcomes; therefore, it is categorized most similarly to hospital-acquired and ventilator-associated pneumonia. Health care-associated pneumonia patients are at higher risk of multidrug-resistant pathogens, including resistant gram-negative organisms especially Pseudomonas aeruginosa, along with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, because most are often elderly, have a severe disability, or are immunocompromised. Owing to the pathogenicity of the organisms most commonly associated with health care-associated pneumonia, it is paramount that initial anti-infective therapy is adequate to cover the virulent bacterial organisms most frequently encountered.

From the *Department of Pharmacy, Huntsville Hospital; †UAB School of Medicine-IM; and ‡Alabama Infectious Disease Center, Huntsville, AL.

Correspondence to: Edward H. Eiland III, PharmD, MBA, BCPS-ID, Department of Pharmacy, Huntsville Hospital, 101 Sivley Rd, Huntsville, AL 35801. E-mail:

The authors have no funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.