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Background: Antibiotic de-escalation is a potential strategy advocated to conserve the effectiveness of broad-spectrum antibiotics. The aim of this study was to examine the safety and feasibility of antibiotic de-escalation in patients admitted with bacteremic pneumonia. Methods: A retrospective chart review was done for patients with bacteremic pneumonia admitted to Northwest Texas Hospital in Amarillo, TX, USA, during 2008. Antibiotic de-escalation was defined as changing the empiric antibiotic regimen to a culture-directed single agent with a narrower spectrum than the original regimen. Results: Sixty-eight patients were admitted with bacteremic pneumonia. Eight patients were not eligible for de-escalation. Among the 60 patients who were eligible for de-escalation, the treating physicians failed to de-escalate antibiotics in 27 cases (45.0%). Discharge to a long-term care facility predicted failure to de-escalate antibiotics, while an infectious diseases consultation was significantly associated with antibiotic de-escalation. The average daily cost of antibacterial therapy in the de-escalation group was $25.7 compared with $61.6 in the group where de-escalation was not implemented. The difference in mean length of hospital stay and mortality between the two groups was not statistically significant
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