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Predicting Death From Pneumonia

Predicting Death From Pneumonia

Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) remains a frequent cause of morbidity and mortality and ranks as the top cause of death from an infectious disease in the world as well as the third leading cause of death overall. In addition to dying within the hospital, patients hospitalized with pneumonia are at an increased risk of death for months to years after being discharged. Over the past decade, significant efforts have been made to improve the care and outcomes associated with CAP. These efforts, however, are often complicated by the fact that about half of all CAP-associated mortality is not directly due to the infection. Cardiovascular complications and death from other comorbidities cause a substantial proportion of CAP-associated mortality. Recently, 30-day mortality for patients with pneumonia became a publicly reported performance measure by CMS. Hospitals are now being measured based on how their CAP patients fare after they are discharged. “In addition to patient-related factors, 30-day mortality can be affected by the quality of care provided in hospitals and after discharge,” says Mark L. Metersky, MD, FCCP. “Although risk factors for mortality in patients with CAP have been investigated extensively, relatively few studies have compared patient-specific factors for mortality before and after discharge from the hospital.” Predicting Mortality in Pneumonia Patients In a retrospective analysis in the August 2012 issue of Chest, Dr. Metersky and colleagues reviewed 21,223 Medicare patients with CAP who were admitted to the hospital. They investigated whether or not patient characteristics can help distinguish those who are at risk for mortality before they were discharged compared with after they were discharged. “This knowledge may help physicians and hospitals...
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