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Treatment of Pneumonia and Its Implications for Antimicrobial Resistance*: Introduction

Jack M. Bernstein, MD; G. Douglas Campbell, Jr., MD, FCCP
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*From the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the Department of Medicine/Veterans’ Affairs Campus (Dr. Bernstein), Wright State University, Dayton, OH; and Louisiana State University (Dr. Campbell), School of Medicine-Shreveport, Shreveport, LA.



Chest. 1999;115(suppl_1):1S-2S. doi:10.1378/chest.115.suppl_1.1S
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The incidence of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) in the United States is estimated at 3.3 to 4 million cases per year.1,,2 Consequently, treatment of pneumonia drives a major portion of overall antibiotic use. The need to begin antibiotic therapy quickly for improved patient outcome makes initial empiric therapy for CAP a practical necessity. The variety of possible etiologies for pneumonia, however, makes selection of an appropriate empiric antibiotic difficult. The temptation is to begin with a powerful broad-spectrum drug, with the consequent danger of encouraging development of resistance. The inexorable emergence of antibiotic-resistant pathogens associated with overuse of particular antibiotics makes a strong argument for choosing a scalpel over a mallet.

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