Chapter

Acute respiratory infections in primary care

Claire Blacklock and Matthew Thompson

in Acute Respiratory Infections

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199588084
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191739668 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med/9780199588084.003.0001

Series: Oxford Respiratory Medicine Library

Acute respiratory infections in primary care

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Key points

Acute respiratory tract infections (RTIs) are common in primary care, comprising approximately 15–20% of all GP consultations - ‘Safety-netting’ and delayed prescribing approaches can help when there is clinical uncertainty, and immediate antibiotics are not indicated - Many over the counter treatments for RTIs are available to patients. In children however, the efficacy of some of these is poor - Diagnosis of RTIs depends on a focused history and examination, taking account of co-morbidities and other risk factors to guide clinical management - Although clinicians often believe their patients expect antibiotics, only a third of patients presenting to their GP with RTIs actually want antibiotics - Making a clinical diagnosis of pneumonia without a chest x-ray can be difficult. The key decision is whether an antibiotic is warranted or not.

Chapter.  4256 words. 

Subjects: Respiratory Medicine and Pulmonology

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