oa Southern African Journal of Epidemiology and Infection - The appropriateness of the South African Thoracic Society's guidelines for antibiotic treatment of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbation in the Universitas Academic Hospital, Bloemfontein : original research

Volume 25, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1015-8782
  • E-ISSN: 2220-1084



Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive disease predominantly associated with smoking. Exacerbation of COPD frequently results from respiratory infections. The South African Thoracic Society (SATS) recommends treatment with amoxicillin / clavulanate, cefuroxime or a fluoroquinolone. The study aimed to determine the appropriateness of these guidelines regarding organisms isolated from sputum of patients with COPD exacerbation at Universitas Academic Hospital, Bloemfontein. A descriptive study was performed. Seventeen hospitalised patients diagnosed with COPD exacerbation from July - October 2007, not treated with antibiotics or corticosteroids or having a respiratory infection four weeks prior to admission, were included. Demographic information (age, gender, area of residence, smoking history) was obtained from patients' files, as well as FEV1 values, FEV1 / FVC ratio, infection markers, microorganisms isolated from sputum and their antibiotic susceptibility profiles. Nine patients were male and eight female, with a median age of 72 years (range 53 - 82 years). Twelve (70.6%) patients resided in the Bloemfontein urban area. Three patients (18.8%) never smoked, 25% smoked previously and 56.3% were active smokers (median pack years 45 years, range 17 - 70 years). Eight patients had culture-positive sputum specimens. and were isolated from sputa. With the exception of , all isolates were susceptible to at least one antibiotic recommended by SATS. The guidelines proposed by SATS for treatment of COPD exacerbation were appropriate and would be effective in the management of these patients in the Free State region.

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