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Positive blood cultures in critically ill patients: incidence and impact on outcome

During the year 2001, 283 patients were admitted to our intensive care unit (ICU). Forty-one patients had at least one positive blood culture (BC) during their ICU stay. These 14.5% of all patients required 52% of all treatment days. We found a good correlation between the length of ICU stay and the ratio of patients with positive BCs (Fig. 1) and with catheter-related bloodstream infections (CBI) (Fig. 2). Seventy-four patients (26%) stayed for more than 7 days in the ICU (required 75% of all treatment days). In one-half of these patients a positive BC was found. These 37 patients had a comparable SAPS II score at admission to the 37 patients not getting a positive BC, but they had a doubled ICU mortality and a doubled ICU length of stay (LOS) (Table 1).

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Figure 1

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Figure 2

Table 1 Table 1

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Frank, G. Positive blood cultures in critically ill patients: incidence and impact on outcome. Crit Care 8, P216 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1186/cc2683

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Keywords

  • Public Health
  • Intensive Care Unit
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Blood Culture
  • Intensive Care Unit Stay