Postponing the treatment of Legionnaires’ disease significantly increases the risk of mortality in affected patients. Although this disease can only be seen as a mild illness, most patients, especially the elderly ones, require hospitalization and parenteral antibiotics. In general, most healthy patients exhibit clinical response to treatment within 3-5 days.
Treating And Managing Legionnaires’ Disease
Patients with milder cases of Legionnaires’ disease can be treated in an outpatient setting with oral antibiotics. Erythromycin, one of the original macrolide antibiotics, was popularly used to treat L. pneumophila infection. However, today, there are other antibiotics, such as doxycycline, tigecycline, azithromycin, and respiratory quinolone, which are preferred since they are more active against LD activity and have superior pharmacokinetic properties.
For patients with severe symptoms, oxygen therapy should be consistently given to them before and while they are admitted in a hospital. Inpatient care and management include:
• Proper control of the airway through support ventilation and oxygenation
• Rehydrating the patient, especially when he or she is in shock or has diarrheal disease
• Providing patient antipyretics, if necessary
• Cardiac monitoring may be needed if chest pain, hypotension, bradycardia, or other indicators are observed
• Start giving the patient empiric antibiotic therapy
Patients should complete the full course of antibiotics, whether the treatment is introduced in the outpatient setting or in the hospital. Close follow-up with a pulmonologist or infectious disease specialist is recommended following discharge from the hospital and/or completion of medical treatment.
Info source: www.aquacert.co.uk