New perspectives on community-acquired pneumonia in 388 406 patients. Results from a nationwide mandatory performance measurement programme in healthcare quality
- S Ewig1,
- N Birkner2,
- R Strauss3,
- E Schaefer2,
- J Pauletzki4,
- H Bischoff5,
- P Schraeder2,
- T Welte7,
- G Hoeffken
- 1Thoraxzentrum Ruhrgebiet, Kliniken für Pneumologie und Infektiologie, Herne und Bochum, Germany
- 2BQS Bundesgeschäftsstelle Qualitätssicherung, Duesseldorf, Germany
- 3Universitaetsklinikum Erlangen, Germany
- 4SRH Kliniken Heidelberg, Germany
- 5Thoraxklinik Heidelberg, Germany
- 6Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, Germany
- 7Universitaetsklinikum Carl Gustav Carus, Fachkrankehaus Coswig, Germany
- Correspondence to Dr N Birkner, BQS Bundesgeschäftsstelle Qualitätssicherung gGmbH, Kanzlerstr. 4, D-40472 Düsseldorf, Germany;
- Received 12 November 2008
- Accepted 27 April 2009
- Published Online First 18 May 2009
Background: The database of the German programme for quality in healthcare including data of every hospitalised patient with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) during a 2-year period (n = 388 406 patients in 2005 and 2006) was analysed.
Methods: End points of the analysis were: (1) incidence; (2) outcome; (3) performance of the CRB-65 (C, mental confusion; R, respiratory rate ⩾30/min; B, systolic blood pressure <90 mm Hg or diastolic blood pressure ⩽60 mm Hg; 65, age ⩾65 years) score in predicting death; and (4) lack of ventilatory support as a possible indicator of treatment restrictions. The CRB-65 score was calculated, resulting in three risk classes (RCs).
Results: The incidence of hospitalised CAP was 2.75 and 2.96 per 1000 inhabitants/year in 2005 and 2006, respectively, higher for males (3.21 vs 2.52), and strongly age related, with an incidence of 7.65 per 1000 inhabitants/year in patients aged ⩾60 years over 2 years. Mortality (13.72% and 14.44%) was higher than reported in previous studies. The CRB-65 RCs accurately predicted death in a three-class pattern (mortality 2.40% in CRB-65 RC 1, 13.43% in CRB-65 RC 2 and 34.39% in CRB-65 RC 3). The first days after admission were consistently associated with the highest risk of death throughout all risk classes. Only a minority of patients who died had received mechanical ventilation during hospitalisation (15.74%).
Conclusions: Hospitalised CAP basically is a condition of the elderly associated with a higher mortality than previously reported. It bears a considerable risk of early mortality, even in low risk patients. CRB-65 is a simple and powerful tool for the assessment of CAP severity. Hospitalised CAP is a frequent terminal event in chronic debilitated patients, and a limitation of treatment escalation is frequently applied.
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
▸ An additional Appendix is published online only at http://thorax.bmj.com/content/vol64/issue12