This guideline covers diagnosing and managing community- and hospital-acquired pneumonia in adults. It aims to improve accurate assessment and diagnosis of pneumonia to help guide antibiotic prescribing and ensure that people receive the right treatment.
For recommendations on managing suspected or confirmed pneumonia in adults in the community during the COVID-19 pandemic see our latest COVID-19 rapid guideline on pneumonia. Where the new recommendations cover existing recommendations in this guideline, follow the rapid guideline recommendations during the pandemic.
In September 2019 we withdrew some recommendations on community-acquired pneumonia and hospital-acquired pneumonia because they have been replaced by recommendations in the NICE guidelines on pneumonia (community-acquired): antimicrobial prescribing and pneumonia (hospital-acquired): antimicrobial prescribing.
This guideline includes recommendations on:
- when to consider a C-reactive protein test to guide treatment
- assessing severity of community-acquired pneumonia
- antibiotic therapy for community-acquired pneumonia
- monitoring and discharge from hospital
- antibiotic therapy for hospital-acquired pneumonia
Who is it for?
- Healthcare professionals
- People who have pneumonia, their families and carers
Is this guideline up to date?
We checked this guideline in October 2018. We found no new evidence that affects the recommendations in this guideline.
Guideline development process
The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals and practitioners are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or the people using their service. It is not mandatory to apply the recommendations, and the guideline does not override the responsibility to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual, in consultation with them and their families and carers or guardian.
All problems (adverse events) related to a medicine or medical device used for treatment or in a procedure should be reported to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency using the Yellow Card Scheme.
Local commissioners and providers of healthcare have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual professionals and people using services wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with complying with those duties.
Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.