HealthDay News — For children with suspected community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) who are discharged from the emergency department, outcomes do not differ between those who do and those who do not receive antibiotic prescriptions, according to a study published online March 16 in Pediatrics.

Matthew J. Lipshaw, MD, from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and colleagues performed a prospective cohort study involving children aged 3 months to 18 years who were discharged from the emergency department with suspected CAP. The association between antibiotic prescription and treatment failure was examined among 294 propensity score-matched children.

The researchers found that treatment failure did not differ significantly for children who received antibiotics and those who did not (odds ratio, 1.0; 95% confidence interval, 0.45 to 2.2). There was no significant difference between those with vs without antibiotics in terms of the proportion of children with return visits with hospitalization (3.4% for both), initiation and/or change of antibiotics (4.8 vs 6.1%), or parent-reported quality-of-life measures.

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“Our results suggest that opportunities exist to safely manage more children with suspected CAP treated as outpatients without antibiotics,” the authors write.

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