In December 1992. a meeting was convened in Toronto to develop guidelines for the initial treatment of hospital acquired pneumonia. Issues considered related lo the patient. the possible drugs used for treatment, and the pathogen(s). From the perspective of the patient. the two major issues were the presence or absence of risk factors for specific microbial pathogens and the severity of illness upon clinical presentation, Criteria for defining severly ill patients were developed and are presented in this paper. Drug and pathogen related issues focused on selection of antimicrobial agents thal would provide coverage for the likely pathogens. Concern was also expressed regarding use of aminoglycosides as single-agent treatment of Gram-negative infections in the lung. and the issue of monotherapy versus combination therapy of
Pseudomonas aeruginosainfections was discussed. The use of various diagnostic tests was briefly reviewed. including the protected specimen brush and bronchoalveolar lavage. Treatment regimens are presented in tabular format.