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Revista médica de Chile

Print version ISSN 0034-9887


MOORE, Philippa; ORTEGA, Juan Pablo; SALDIAS, Fernando  and  OYARZUN, María Angélica. Ambulatory management of community acquired pneumonia in the elderly. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2006, vol.134, n.12, pp.1568-1575. ISSN 0034-9887.

Community Acquired Pneumonia (CAP) is the first cause of death by respiratory disease in Chile and the first specific cause of death in people over 80 years of age. The geriatric population has a greater risk of suffering pneumonia, its complications and consequently dying. This is not only related to chronological age but also to certain factors related to ageing such as the presence of comorbidity, malnutrition, and cognitive impairment. An atypical presentation that delays the diagnosis and treatment also increases the risk of complications. CAP in the elderly is caused by the same pathogens that cause it in younger patients. S pneumoniae is the main pathogen followed by viral infections particularly in winter. An important strategy to reduce CAP related health costs, is the identification of patients who are at low risk of complications and who therefore could be managed at home. Optimum management of CAP in the elderly includes early diagnosis and the definition of clinical severity, early antibiotic treatment at the right dose and for an adequate length of time and a correct decision whether the patient should be managed in hospital or at home

Keywords : Aged, 80 and over; Pneumonia; Streptococcus pneumoniae.

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