Table 1 Demographic data and clinical variables (per protocol analysis)
VariableOral treatment(N = 100)IV treatment(N = 103)
Sex, n (%) male53 (53%)55 (53%)
Age (years)*2.4 (1.5–5.4)2.5 (1.4–4.7)
Number of children treated with oral antibiotics pre-admission18 (18%)14 (13.6%)
Number of days of treatment with antibiotics pre-admission*
    <214/18 (78%)12/14 (86%)
    2–50/182/14 (14%)
    >54/18 (22%)0/18
Length of illness pre-admission in days‡5 (2.5–7.0)4.5 (2.0–7.0)
Admission observations†
    Temperature (°C)38.6 (38.4 to 38.8)38.4 (38.2 to 38.6)
    Pulse151 (146 to 156)149 (144 to 153)
    Respiratory rate
        <1 year50 (45 to 61)50 (45 to 61)
        >1 year40 (37 to 43)43 (40 to 46)
    Oxygen saturation (in air)95% (94 to 96)95% (95 to 96)
Symptoms and signs on admission
    Cough89 (89%)95 (92%)
    Recession42 (42%)51 (49.5%)
    Grunting14 (14%)25 (24%)
    Difficulty breathing34 (34%)33 (32%)
InvestigationsBlood taken from 79/100 (79%)Blood taken from 89/103 (86%)
Throat swab or NPA taken from 55/100 (55%)Throat swab or NPA taken from 52/103 (50%)
    White cell count (×109/l)†19 (16.8 to 20.8)18 (16.5 to 19.6)
    Neutrophil count (×109/l)†14 (12.3 to 15.9)13.4 (11.9 to 14.9)
    CRP (mg/l)†159 (128 to 190)172 (144 to 199)
    Blood culture1 positive (Streptococcus pneumoniae)3 positive (Streptococcus pneumoniae)
    Viral throat swab or NPAPositive 7/54 (13%)Positive 7/52 (13%)
    4 RSV    5 RSV
    2 influenzae A    1 influenzae A
    1 adenovirus    1 parainfluenzae
  • CRP, C-reactive protein; NPA, nasopharyngeal aspirate; RSV, respiratory syncytial aspirate.

  • No significant difference was seen between the two groups in white cell count, neutrophils or CRP.

  • *The oral antibiotics given prior to hospital admission included amoxicillin (11), cephalexin (2), co-amoxiclav (3), penicillin (4), erythromycin (7), clarithromycin (1) and trimethoprin (4).

  • †Mean (95% confidence interval).

  • ‡Median and 25th–75th centile.