INTRODUCTION: Antimicrobial stewardship programmes recommend use of narrow-spectrum antibiotics as first-line treatment of childhood pneumonia in secondary care. The primary aim of the present study was to assess whether current guidelines are followed. A secondary aim was to assess if tracheal aspiration is a useful tool in the diagnostic process of suspected childhood pneumonia.

METHODS: This was a retrospective descriptive single-centre cohort study. Children between three months and 17 years with a pneumonia diagnosis were included. The children were divided into two groups based on whether or not they had been treated with antibiotics (TWA) by their general practitioner. We obtained information on blood samples, treatment and microbial findings. Finally, we compared the use of antibiotics and the microbiological diagnosis of children TWA prior to admittance with those of drug-naïve children (DN).

RESULTS: Guidelines were followed in 55% (n = 78) of the cases, which is comparable to results reported by other studies. Tracheal aspiration culture identified a bacterial pathogen in 54% (n = 77) of the cases; Haemophilus influenzae was the most prevalent. A larger percentage of tracheal aspirations was positive in the TWA group than in the DN group (66%; n = 31 versus 48%; n = 46).

CONCLUSIONS: Compliance with local guidelines was comparable to findings reported in similar single-centre studies. Airway aspiration may be a useful supplement to other investigations.

FUNDING: none.


Original languageEnglish
JournalDanish Medical Journal
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018


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