When treating pneumonia in the hospital, physicians should be careful to avoid common mistakes, Joanna M. Bonsall, MD, PhD, from the division of hospital medicine at Emory University, said during her presentation at the ACP Internal Medicine Meeting.

One common mistake physicians make is not using steroids in patients with severe community-acquired pneumonia, according to Bonsall.

She recommended using 20 mg to 60 mg of prednisone for 3 to 7 days. However, she noted that immunocompromised patients and those with uncontrolled diabetes, psychiatric disease, recent gastrointestinal bleeding and influenza should not be treated with steroids.

Another common mistake is treating pneumonia for too long, according to Bonsall.

Bonsall noted a study that found that 86% of inpatients with uncomplicated pneumonia were prescribed antibiotic therapy for longer than the recommended duration at an average of 10 days.