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).