Should Hospitalized Asthma Patients Receive Antibiotics?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Mihaela S Stefan, MD, PhD FACP

Research Scientist, Institute for Healthcare Delivery and Population Science
Associate Professor, UMMS-Baystate
Director of Perioperative Clinic and Medical Consultation Program
Academic Hospitalist
Director Quality Assessment, Division of Healthcare Quality
Springfield MA

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: In a prior study we have found that roughly 41% of patients hospitalized with an asthma exacerbation receive antibiotics although the guidelines do not support this practice. We found that the evidence supporting the guidelines was however limited to 6 trials which included a total of only 681 adults and children and most trials’ outcomes were symptoms or lung function not length of stay, need for mechanical ventilation, readmissions or death.

We performed the largest observational study to-date of approximately 20 000 patients hospitalized for asthma exacerbation and found that patients treated with antibiotics did not have better outcomes but instead they had longer hospital stay and an increased risk for antibiotic-related diarrhea. Continue reading