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Editor's Correspondence
September 25, 2000

Community-Acquired Pneumonia in Elderly Patients and Length of Hospitalization

Author Affiliations

Copyright 2000 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2000

Arch Intern Med. 2000;160(17):2678-2679. doi:

Three original articles and 1 editorial on the length of hospital stay (LOS) of patients with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) were published in the November 8 and 22, 1999, issues of the ARCHIVES.1-4 Ramirez et al1 found that an early switch in therapy from intravenous to oral antibiotics was associated with an early hospital discharge in 44% of 200 consecutive patients, corresponding to 66% of the patients who underwent the switch in therapy. The authors found that the mean pneumonia-related LOS in 88 patients (3.4 days) was significantly shorter than for 45 patients hospitalized for treatment of comorbid conditions, diagnostic workup, or social need (LOS, 7.6 days). The authors calculated that more than $395 million could be saved with an early switch in therapy, but they did not identify the groups of patients for whom the savings might be higher, nor did they evaluate the long-term rates of mortality and rehospitalization.

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