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Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases
Volume 6, Issue 6, Pages 317-324
Original Article

Community Acquired, Nursing Home Acquired and Hospital Acquired Pneumonia: A Five-Year Review of the Clinical, Bacteriological and Radiological Characteristics

CW Chow, LR Lee-Pack, N Senathiragah, M Rawji, M Chan, and CK Chan

Department of Medicine, The Wellesley Hospital and The Toronto Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Received 20 March 1995; Accepted 2 August 1995

Copyright © 1995 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Purpose: To assess the contemporary clinical, bacteriological and radiographic features of hospitalized patients with community acquired (ca), nursing home acquired (na) and hospital acquired pneumonia (ha) and to examine patient outcome.

Patients and Methods: All hospital records of patients with pneumonia over a five-year period from April 1987 to March 1992 were reviewed retrospectively. Patients included in the study were all those with a diagnosis of pneumonia as identified by computer records of diagnostic codes at discharge; patients with a specific diagnosis of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia were excluded. Of 74,435 discharges over the five-year period, 1782 patients met the inclusion criteria.

Results: Charts of 1622 of the total 1782 cases were reviewed. Mean age was 64.4 years with 59.4% men and 40.6% women. Sixty-three per cent were ca, 28.5% were ha and 8.5% were na. A total of 1542 patients (95%) had at least one concomitant medical condition. Chest roentgenogram was abnormal in 97%. Common organisms isolated overall were Haemophilus influenzae (from 204 patients), Staphylococcus aureas (from 152 patients), Streptococcus pneumoniae (from 143 patients ), Escherichia coli (from 113 patients) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (from 111 patients). H influenzae and S pneumoniae were most common in ca pneumonia, whereas S aureus and Gram-negative organisms were more common in the ha group and Gram-negative agents in the na group. One hundred and four patients developed complications. Fifteen per cent required intensive care unit admission. The average length of hospitalization in the ca and na groups was 17 days and in the ha group, 43 days. At time of discharge 1261 patients (78%) were cured or improved, and 361 patients (22%) died during the admission.

Conclusions: These results suggest that hospitalization for pneumonia in the 1990s is primarily for elderly patients with significant co-morbidity. Although microbiology appears unchanged compared with earlier reports, the contemporary population is significantly sicker than previous cohorts. This may account for the persistently high morbidity and mortality despite better or newer antibiotics.