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Editorials |

Blood Cultures for Community-Acquired Pneumonia : No Place To Skimp!

Charles S. Bryan, MD
Author and Funding Information

Affiliations: Columbia, SC 
 ,  Dr. Bryan is Heyward Gibbes Distinguished Professor of Internal Medicine and Chair, Department of Medicine, University of South Carolina School of Medicine.

Correspondence to: Charles S. Bryan, MD, 2 Medical Park, Suite 502, Columbia, SC 29203; e-mail: cbryan@richmed.medpark.sc.edu



Chest. 1999;116(5):1153-1155. doi:10.1378/chest.116.5.1153
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In this issue of CHEST (see page 1278), Waterer et al report a provocative retrospective study of the impact of blood cultures on antibiotic prescribing for community-acquired pneumonia. Physicians seldom simplified antimicrobial therapy, even when Streptococcus pneumoniae had been isolated from blood cultures, which was the case in 74 of 1,805 patients with community-acquired pneumonia who were admitted to a large private hospital. Waterer et al conclude that “in an era of escalating costs and rationalization of health care,” we should address seriously the issue of whether blood cultures need be obtained in severe community-acquired pneumonia.


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