Mortality rates for community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) has almost halved over the last decade across NHS hospitals, according to the sixth British Thoracic Society (BTS) national audit on CAP in adults.
The audit, which was across 154 hospitals, found mortality rates reduced from 20.2 per cent in 2009 to 10.4 per cent in 2019.
The proportion of cases who received their first dose of antibiotics within the four hours target was 74.4 per cent in 2018/2019, compared with 60 per cent in 2009/2010. In 58 per cent of cases, patients received antibiotics recommended in national guidance, compared with 54 per cent in 2009/2010. In 85.2% of cases, chest X-ray was performed within four hours of admission.
Since the 2014 audit, length of stay (LOS) in those surviving to discharge has decreased from a median of 5.5 (interquartile range [IQR], 3-10) days to five (IQR, 2-8) days in 2018. The proportion of cases from the surviving cohort with a LOS of one day or less has increased from 11.5 per cent in 2014/2015 to 14.0 per cent in 2018/2019.
However, the data also highlight areas of concern. Hospital re-admissions for CAP within 30 days have increased over the past three audits and now occur in 14.3 per cent of cases. Hospital admissions via the emergency department have continued to increase and now comprise 85 per cent of cases.
The audit was published at the BTS Winter Meeting.