Community-acquired bacterial pneumonia in a child treated without antibiotics in a hospital for anthroposophic medicine: a case report

Erhard Fujiwara-Pichler, Ulf-Jürgen Beckmann, René Madeleyn
Article-ID: DMS-21204-EN

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Introduction: Evolving antibiotic resistance among bacterial pathogens as well as increasing evidence has led to a more differentiated use in otitis media and bacterial sinusitis. In bacterial pneumonia in children, antibiotics are currently the standard treatment. The present report describes a pediatric case without their use, whereas recent literature is only about adults.

Case presentation: A 4 ½ year old Caucasian boy presented with community-acquired bacterial pneumonia (CAP), preceded by a mixed viral and streptococcal throat infection. He had tachypnea, right lung bronchial breathing, dull percussion over the right chest wall and a high temperature. There was complete white-out on a chest X-ray of the right mid and lower zone. Blood infection markers were high and he had an accompanying syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone hypersecretion. Non-antibiotic treatment used a combination of supportive measures, including anthroposophic and homeopathic medications, and external (phytotherapeutic) applications. This followed a standard treatment plan (adapted for his state of disease), successfully used for over 30 years at our hospital. He required oxygen support for the first night. His temperature fell continuously, whilst an antipyretic given once caused transient hypothermia. His vital parameters showed no deterioration and he clinically improved steadily. He could be discharged in a stable condition after 1 week.

Conclusions: Bacterial CAP in a young child without medical preconditions and in previous good health was effectively and safely treated without the use of antibiotics. Important factors are a differentiated decision process, experienced pediatricians prepared to frequently reassess the child, nursing staff familiar with this treatment, parental support and wider public acceptance of individual treatment plans.

Homeopathic or anthroposophic therapies should be delivered in appropriate facilities, which are wellprepared, competent and specialized for this kind of treatment, including highly trained personnel and sufficient staffing to reduce the risk of complications including death. It is clear that without these conditions, management recommended in such cases is the administration of antibiotics and related support care.

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