Clinical Strategy

• Chest x-ray should reveal a new infiltrate plus two of the following:

• Leukocytosis or leukopenia

• Purulent secretions

• Semiquantitative cultures are obtained to identify the pathogen(s)

• Tracheal aspirates grow more organisms than invasive quantitative cultures and often result in overuse of antibiotics

• The major limitation of the clinical strategy is the consistent overprescribing of antibiotics

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