Unifying Concepts

Clinical Diagnostic Criteria for Hospital-Acquired (or Nosocomial) Pneumonia (HAP)

Acute nosocomial pneumonia is broadly defined as pneumonia characterized by a new and persistent infiltrate (radiographically present for greater than 48 hours) PLUS one of the following:

  • Positive pleural or blood culture for the same organism as that recovered in respiratory secretions
  • Radiographic evidence of cavitation or necrosis
  • Histopathologic evidence of pneumonia
  • Two of the following:
    • Core temperature > 38.3 °C
    • Blood leukocytes > 10,000 cells/mL
    • Purulent tracheal secretions



  1. Kollef MH. What is ventilator-associated pneumonia and why is it important? Respir Care. 2005 Jun;50(6):714-21. [Medline]
  2. American Thoracic Society; Infectious Diseases Society of America. Guidelines for the management of adults with hospital-acquired, ventilator-associated, and healthcare-associated pneumonia. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2005 Feb 15;171(4):388-416. [Medline]


Created: Jul 31, 2009

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