ADVICE, P.R.N.: Walking out with pneumonia

May 2005 
Volume 35  Number 5
Pages 14 - 14
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  • In the medical/surgical unit where I work as case manager, we never seem to have enough beds. To make room for new admissions, we're always looking for patients to discharge, and patients with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) are usually the first to go. I'm worried that we sometimes discharge them too soon. Are any guidelines available for determining when a patient with CAP is ready for discharge? —P.R., N.Y.

    In 2003 the Infectious Diseases Society of America updated its practice guidelines for treating CAP in adults who aren't immunocompromised. These guidelines recommend a combination of physical assessment findings and clinical judgment to determine if a patient is hemodynamically stable and ready for discharge.

    As a rule, a patient with CAP should meet the following criteria for 24 hours before discharge.

    * temperature, 100° ...

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