Community-acquired pneumonia in children is associated with significant morbidity and mortality; however, data are limited in predicting which children will have negative outcomes, including clinical deterioration, severe disease, or development of complications. The Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society/Infectious Diseases Society of America (PIDS/IDSA) pediatric pneumonia guideline includes criteria that were modified from adult criteria and define pneumonia severity to assist with resource allocation and site-of-care decision-making. However, the PIDS/IDSA criteria have not been formally developed or validated in children. Definitions for mild, moderate, and severe pneumonia also vary across the literature, further complicating the development of standardized severity criteria. This systematic review summarizes (1) the current state of the evidence for defining and predicting pneumonia severity in children as well as (2) emerging evidence focused on risk stratification of children with pneumonia.
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