Two cases of severe community-acquired pneumococcal pneumonia (CAP) admitted to our hospital within 24 h are described, both in young males. These two cases illustrate the usefulness of the British Thoracic Society severity criteria and serve to emphasize the importance of early recognition of adverse physiology in critically ill patients. We should not lose sight of the continued impact of pneumonia in this climate of widespread fear about severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).


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