Antimicrobials: community-acquired pneumonia

Course for pharmacists, nurses, students


Developed in collaboration with the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC), this module deals with antimicrobials prescribing in a hospital setting.

In this case, you are an intern working an evening shift in an emergency department in an Australian suburban hospital. You are expected to be able to assess patients, order investigations and initiate the acute management of patients. The Emergency senior Registrars are often attending to trauma and resuscitation calls; however they are available for discussion of patient management if necessary.

Mr White, a 68 year old retired truck driver, has been brought by ambulance to the emergency department after his daughter visited him at home and found him quite unwell. The illness began 5 or 6 days before with malaise, sore throat and coryza, and soon developed chills and sweats together with a productive cough. He attended his general practitioner 2 days before who diagnosed an upper respiratory tract infection. Over the last 24 hrs his cough had worsened, he was short of breath and found great difficulty in sleeping.

Learning objectives

On completion of this module, you should be able to:

  • identify the clinical signs and symptoms of Community Acquired Pneumonia (CAP)
  • order the preliminary investigations required to diagnose and manage CAP
  • establish the severity of the disease using a scoring tool such as SMART-COP
  • prescribe empiric and directed antimicrobial therapy for CAP
  • identify the normal progression of CAP when on appropriate therapy.

Self record for CPD purposes.