Duration of intravenous therapy and hospital stay according to choice of empirical antimicrobial treatment for community-acquired respiratory infection

R B S Laing, A.r. MacKenzie, H Shaw, I M Gould, J G Douglas

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    A review of patients admitted to medical wards with respiratory infection was undertaken to look for differences in duration of intravenous (IV) therapy and length of patient stay based on the class of IV antimicrobial used in treatment. Data was analysed from 231 patients with community-acquired respiratory infection who were treated empirically for at least 24 h with either an IV cephalosporin (146 patients) or an IV penicillin or macrolide (85 patients). The severity of illness and indication for IV treatment was similar in each group. Those treated with a cephalosporin received IV therapy for a significantly longer period (mean = 4.44 days, SD = 2.6) than those given a penicillin or macrolide (mean = 3.3 days, SD = 1.8): P < 0.001. Patient stay was significantly longer in the cephalosporin group (mean = 11.6 days, SD = 10.4) than the penicillin/macrolide group (mean = 9.4 days, SD = 6.3): P = 0.04. These differences are most readily accounted for by the absence from the hospital formulary of a third generation oral cephalosporin, a drug that might be regarded as an obvious form of follow-on therapy in patients treated empirically with an injectable cephalosporin. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. and International Society of Chemotherapy. All rights reserved.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)53-56
    Number of pages4
    JournalInternational Journal of Antimicrobial Agents
    Publication statusPublished - 1999


    • intravenous therapy
    • hospital stay
    • antimicrobial treatment
    • community-acquired respiratory infection

    Cite this