Novel care pathway to optimise antimicrobial prescribing for uncomplicated community-acquired pneumonia: study protocol for a prospective before–after cohort study in the emergency department of a tertiary care Canadian children’s hospital Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • IntroductionEvidence-based recommendations for paediatric community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) diagnosis and management are needed. Uncomplicated CAP is often caused by respiratory viruses, especially in younger children; these episodes self-resolve without antibiotic treatment. Unfortunately, there are no clinical criteria that reliably discriminate between viral and bacterial disease, and so the majority of children diagnosed with CAP are given antibiotics—even though these will often not help and may cause harm. We have developed a novel care pathway that incorporates point-of-care biomarkers, radiographic patterns, microbiological testing and targeted follow-up. The primary study objective is to determine if the care pathway will be associated with less antimicrobial prescribing.Methods and analysisA prospective, before–after, study. Previously well children aged≥6 months presenting to a paediatric emergency department (ED) that have at least one respiratory symptom/sign, receive chest radiography, and are diagnosed with CAP by the ED physician will be eligible. Those with medical comorbidities, recently diagnosed pulmonary infection, or ongoing fever after≥4 days of antimicrobial therapy will be excluded. In the control (before) phase, eligible participants will be managed as per the standard of care. In the intervention (after) phase, eligible participants will be managed as per the novel care pathway. The primary outcome will be the proportion of participants in each phase who receive antimicrobial treatment for CAP. The secondary outcomes include: clinical cure; re-presentation to the ED; hospitalisation; time to resolution of symptoms; drug adverse events; caregiver satisfaction; child absenteeism from daycare/school; and caregiver absenteeism from work.Ethics and disseminationAll study documentation has been approved by the Hamilton Integrated Research Ethics Board and informed consent will be obtained from all participants. Data from this study will be presented at major conferences and published in peer-reviewed publications to facilitate collaborations with networks of clinicians experienced in the dissemination of clinical guidelines.Trial registration numberNCT05114161.

publication date

  • November 2022