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A collaborative group led by Trinity researchers has published the first guidelines for treating patients with severe community- acquired pneumonia (sCAP) – a high- mortality condition that describes people admitted to ICU.

These guidelines, published in two journals – Intensive Care Medicine, and the European Respiratory Journal – will benefit physicians dealing with the care of critically ill patients and help standardise the current treatment and management of sCAP.

Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is a very common respiratory infectious disease but approximately 40% of patients will require hospitalisation and 5% of those will be admitted to ICU, at which point they are clinically classified as having sCAP.

Patients with sCAP are primarily admitted to ICU due to organ shock or the need for invasive or non-invasive mechanical ventilation and, because their mortality could be as high as 50% at this point, the guidelines fulfil a pressing need.

Ignacio Martin-Loeches, Professor in Clinical Medicine in Trinity’s School of Medicine and Consultant in Intensive Care Medicine in St James’s Hospital, is the lead author of the new guidelines. He said: “Implementing treatment
is obviously challenging in any critical care setting, and depends on the healthcare systems and resources allocated, but these new guidelines provide clear, focused, and concise recommendations from which patients with the highest severity and mortality risk will benefit.

“We have also been careful to incorporate recommendations from specialists from different healthcare systems and medical domains, in order to ease implementation and obtain a transversal approach.”

The guidelines have been created based on the European Respiratory Society (ERS) launching a task force, which brought together the Trinity team and other European societies, including the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine (ESICM), the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID) and Asociación Latinoamericana del Tórax (Latin American Thoracic Association; ALAT).

This multidisciplinary group of clinicians has extensive expertise in managing patients with respiratory tract infections across Europe and North America, but the guidelines should also help the management of sCAP patients worldwide.