Is it time for a culture change? Blood culture collection in the emergency department

Kerina J. Denny*, Amy Sweeny, Julia Crilly, Samuel Maloney, Gerben Keijzers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: To describe how frequently blood cultures (BCs) are obtained in the ED and to describe the incidence of true-and false-positive BC results. 

Methods: Retrospective descriptive study of all patients presenting to a tertiary-level, mixed Australian ED over a 15 month period. 

Results: A total of 3617 (3.67%) patients had BCs collected. Around one (12.1%) in eight of these BCs were positive; nearly half (45.2%) of which were identified as a false positive. 

Conclusions: BCs are a common investigation in the ED with a high false-positive rate. Strategies are required to reduce false positives, including reducing inappropriate collection and improving collection techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)575-577
Number of pages3
JournalEMA - Emergency Medicine Australasia
Volume30
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018

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