Pneumonia, Pediatric

Pneumonia, Pediatric is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Emergency Consult.

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  • Mechanism is often unknown.
  • Source is oropharyngeal aspiration (most common) or hematogenous.
  • Distribution depends on the organism: Interstitial (Mycoplasma pneumoniae, virus), lobar (Streptococcus pneumoniae), abscesses (Staphylococcus aureus), or diffuse (Pneumocystis carinii)


  • <2 wk:
    • Group B Streptococcus species
    • Enteric gram-negative organisms
    • Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)
    • Herpes simplex virus
    • S. aureus
  • 2 wk–3 mo:
    • Chlamydia trachomatis
    • Parainfluenza virus
    • RSV
    • S. pneumoniae
    • S. aureus
    • H. influenza
    • Bordetella pertussis
  • 3 mo–8 yr:
    • Viral (predominate):
      • RSV
      • Parainfluenza virus
      • Influenza virus
      • Adenovirus
    • S. pneumoniae
    • H. influenza in unimmunized children
    • Group A streptococcus
    • S. aureus
    • B. pertussis
  • >8 yr:
    • M. pneumoniae most common
    • Viral
    • S. pneumoniae
  • Recent immigrants from developing countries:
    • Mycoplasma tuberculosis
    • H. influenza
    • B. pertussis
  • Immunocompromised (e.g., HIV, cancer):
    • P. carinii
    • Mycoplasma avium complex
    • M. tuberculosis
    • Klebsiella pneumoniae
    • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Less common:
    • Fungal (coccidioidomycosis, histoplasmosis)
    • Rickettsia (Q fever)

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