Pneumonia treatment: microbiology and rapid diagnosis

Elvira Velasco, PP health spokesperson in Congress.

The debate on the need to speed up access to medicines and therapies against pneumonia will reach the Congress of Deputies at the request of a People’s Party that seeks to pressure the Government to “optimize” rapid diagnostic techniques, as well as progressively implement “the full availability of microbiology services all year and 24 hours a day”.

Specifically, the bill that the PP has registered in the Health Commission of Congress consists of three axes: on the one hand, it seeks to “make available to the health system the resources and investments necessary to optimize the access to rapid diagnostic techniques in the pneumonia care process”. It is also requested “to promote the progressive incorporation of the full availability of microbiology services throughout the year, 24 hours a day”. And, finally, “implementing value models based on cost-effective management that makes it possible to contribute to the system sustainability”.

This is reflected in the non-law proposal that the popular formation has registered in the Health Commission, in which it emphasizes that pneumonia is currently “one of the most frequent infections and the one that causes the greatest morbidity and mortality in adults and children ”.

Deaths from pneumonia in Spain

“According to data published by the National Institute of Statistics, in 2018 it caused more than 10,400 deaths in our country, representing 2.43 percent of the total”, details the group led by Elvira Velascowhich adds that, from 2013 to that date, the number of deaths from pneumonia grew by 25 percent.

Despite being one of the “respiratory problems most widespread in Spain”, continues the document, “one in five people suffering from pneumonia must be admitted to hospital for treatment”. And furthermore, “conventional microbiological diagnostic techniques provide results in 48-72 hours”, so that if the initial antibiotic treatment is inappropriate, “the delay in 72 hours of a therapeutic change has clinical consequences”.

“For this reason, the role of techniques of microbiological diagnosis Fast is critical in managing these infections. The traditional identification and cultivation procedures represent a slow and low-yield methodology that, on occasions, provide late results, conditioning inadequate therapies”, points out the PP.

In this scenario, he regrets that, “currently, despite being available”, the molecular biology technologies for the diagnosis of pneumonia “they are used infrequently, although their clinical impact when applied together with therapeutic optimization programs is high”.

Although it may contain statements, data or notes from health institutions or professionals, the information contained in Medical Writing is edited and prepared by journalists. We recommend the reader that any questions related to health be consulted with a health professional.

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