Some 30 percent of all positive hospital blood culture samples are discarded every day because they're "contaminated" — they reflect the presence of skin germs instead of specific disease-causing bacteria.
In the study, the researchers processed the demographic information, hospital records, blood culture results, and date of death of all patients at the Rabin Medical Center with positive blood cultures from 2009-12. They found that out of 2,518 patients, 1,664 blood cultures drawn from 1,124 patients reflected the presence of a common skin contaminant, coagulase-negative staphylococci (CoNS). High overall CoNS resistance predicted high overall resistance of the bacteria causing disease or infection. Most importantly perhaps, highly resistant CoNS isolates were found to be associated with higher short-term mortality.
The researchers hope their conclusions will cause clinicians to pause before discarding contaminated blood test results.
Weblog (Medicine & Health)
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