Clinical and economic impact of contaminated blood cultures within the hospital setting

Y. M. Alahmadi, M. A. Aldeyab, J. C. McElnay, M. G. Scott, F. W. Darwish Elhajji, F. A. Magee, M. Dowds, C. Edwards, L. Fullerton, A. Tate, M. P. Kearney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Blood cultures have an important role in the diagnosis of serious infections, although contamination of blood cultures (i.e. false-positive blood cultures) is a common problem within the hospital setting. The objective of the present investigation was to determine the impact of the false-positive blood culture results on the following outcomes: length of stay, hotel costs, antimicrobial costs, and costs of laboratory and radiological investigation. A retrospective case-control study design was used in which 142 false-positive blood culture cases were matched with suitable controls (patients for whom cultures were reported as true negatives). The matching criteria included age, comorbidity score and month of admission to the hospital. The research covered a 13-month period (July 2007 to July 2008). The findings indicated that differences in means, between cases and controls, for the length of hospital stay and the total costs were 5.4 days [95% CI (confidence interval): 2.8-8.1 days; P<0.001] and £5,001.5 [$7,502.2; 95% CI: £3,283.9 ($4,925.8) to £6,719.1 ($10,078.6); P<0.001], respectively. Consequently, and considering that 254 false-positive blood cultures had occurred in the study site hospital over a one-year period, patients with false-positive blood cultures added 1372 extra hospital days and incurred detrimental additional hospital costs of £1,270,381 ($1,905,572) per year. The findings therefore demonstrate that false-positive blood cultures have a significant impact on increasing hospital length of stay, laboratory and pharmacy costs. These findings highlight the need to intervene to raise the standard of blood-culture-taking technique, thus improving both the quality of patient care and resource use.

LanguageEnglish
Pages233-236
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Hospital Infection
Volume77
Issue number3
Early online date7 Jan 2011
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes

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Economics
Length of Stay
Costs and Cost Analysis
Confidence Intervals
Blood Culture
Culture Techniques
Hospital Costs
Quality of Health Care
Case-Control Studies
Comorbidity
Patient Care
Infection
Research

Cite this

Alahmadi, Y. M., Aldeyab, M. A., McElnay, J. C., Scott, M. G., Darwish Elhajji, F. W., Magee, F. A., ... Kearney, M. P. (2011). Clinical and economic impact of contaminated blood cultures within the hospital setting. Journal of Hospital Infection, 77(3), 233-236. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhin.2010.09.033
Alahmadi, Y. M. ; Aldeyab, M. A. ; McElnay, J. C. ; Scott, M. G. ; Darwish Elhajji, F. W. ; Magee, F. A. ; Dowds, M. ; Edwards, C. ; Fullerton, L. ; Tate, A. ; Kearney, M. P. / Clinical and economic impact of contaminated blood cultures within the hospital setting. In: Journal of Hospital Infection. 2011 ; Vol. 77, No. 3. pp. 233-236.
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Alahmadi, YM, Aldeyab, MA, McElnay, JC, Scott, MG, Darwish Elhajji, FW, Magee, FA, Dowds, M, Edwards, C, Fullerton, L, Tate, A & Kearney, MP 2011, 'Clinical and economic impact of contaminated blood cultures within the hospital setting', Journal of Hospital Infection, vol. 77, no. 3, pp. 233-236. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhin.2010.09.033

Clinical and economic impact of contaminated blood cultures within the hospital setting. / Alahmadi, Y. M.; Aldeyab, M. A.; McElnay, J. C.; Scott, M. G.; Darwish Elhajji, F. W.; Magee, F. A.; Dowds, M.; Edwards, C.; Fullerton, L.; Tate, A.; Kearney, M. P.

In: Journal of Hospital Infection, Vol. 77, No. 3, 03.2011, p. 233-236.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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