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

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Citations (Scopus)


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
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-236
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Hospital Infection
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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