Clinical Edge

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IV vs Oral Antibiotics for Complicated Pneumonia

Pediatrics; ePub 2016 Nov 17; Shah, et al

Treatment failure rates between a peripherally inserted central venous catheter (PICC) and oral antibiotics for postdischarge treatment of complicated pneumonia in children did not differ; however, children with complicated pneumonia should preferentially receive oral antibiotics at discharge when effective oral options are available. This according to a recent multicenter retrospective cohort study that included 2,123 children aged ≥2 months and <18 years discharged with complicated pneumonia between 2009 and 2012. Primary outcome was treatment failure. Researchers found:

  • Among 2,123 children, 281 (13.2%) received antibiotics via PICC.
  • Treatment failure rates were 3.2% among PICC and 2.6% among oral antibiotic recipients.
  • PICC complications occurred in 7.1% of participants.
  • Adverse drug reactions occurred in 0.6% of children.
  • PICC antibiotic recipients had greater odds of adverse drug reaction in across hospital analysis (matched OR, 19.1).


Shah SS, Srivastava R, Wu S, et al. Intravenous versus oral antibiotics for postdischarge treatment of complicated pneumonia. [Published online ahead of print November 17, 2016]. Pediatrics. doi:10.1542/peds.2016-1692.