Contamination rates of blood cultures obtained by dedicated phlebotomy vs intravenous catheter

Title

Contamination rates of blood cultures obtained by dedicated phlebotomy vs intravenous catheter

Creator

Norberg A; Christopher N C; Ramundo M L; Bower J R; Berman S A

Publisher

Jama-Journal of the American Medical Association

Date

2003
2003-02

Description

Context Blood culture is the criterion standard for identifying children with bacteremia. However, elevated false-positive rates are common and are associated with substantial health care costs. Objective To compare contamination rates in blood culture specimens obtained from separate sites vs through newly inserted intravenous catheters. Design, Setting, and Participants Observational study conducted January 1998 through December 1999 among patients aged 18 years or younger who were seen at a US children's hospital emergency department and had a blood culture obtained as part of their care. Medical records were reviewed in all cases with a positive blood culture. Patients with indwelling vascular catheters were excluded. Intervention All phlebotomy was performed by emergency department registered nurses. During the baseline phase, blood specimens for culture were obtained simultaneously with intravenous catheter insertion. During the postintervention phase, specimens were obtained by a separate, dedicated procedure. Main Outcome Measure Contamination rate in the postintervention period compared with the baseline period. Results A total of 4108 blood cultures were evaluated, including 2108 during the baseline phase and 2000 in the postintervention phase. The false-positive blood culture rate decreased from 9.1% to 2.8% (P<.001). A statistical process control chart demonstrated a steady-state process in the baseline phase and the establishment of a significantly improved steady state in the postintervention phase. Young age was associated with increased contamination rate in both the baseline and postintervention periods. Conclusion Blood culture contamination rates were lower when specimens were drawn from a separate site compared with when they were drawn through a newly inserted intravenous catheter.

Subject

decision-analysis; epidemiology; febrile children; General & Internal Medicine; hospital; infection-control; management; occult bacteremia; pediatric emergency; quality-control methods; resource utilization; risk

Format

Journal Article

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Rights

Article information provided for research and reference use only. All rights are retained by the journal listed under publisher and/or the creator(s).

Pages

726-729

Issue

6

Volume

289

Citation

Norberg A; Christopher N C; Ramundo M L; Bower J R; Berman S A, “Contamination rates of blood cultures obtained by dedicated phlebotomy vs intravenous catheter,” NEOMED Bibliography Database, accessed November 27, 2021, https://neomed.omeka.net/items/show/6651.

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