Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2020 Dec 10:1-7. doi: 10.1017/ice.2020.1337. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the clinical impact of contaminated blood cultures in hospitalized patients during a period when rapid diagnostic testing using a FilmArray Blood Culture Identification (BCID) panel was in use.
DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study.
SETTING: Single academic medical center.
PARTICIPANTS: Patients who had blood culture(s) performed during an admission between June 2014 and December 2016.
METHODS: Length of hospital stay and days of antibiotic therapy were assessed in relation to blood-culture contamination using generalized linear models with univariable and multivariable analyses.
RESULTS: Among 11,474 patients who had blood cultures performed, the adjusted mean length of hospital stay for patients with contaminated blood-culture episodes (N = 464) was 12.3 days (95% confidence interval [CI], 11.4-13.2) compared to 11.5 days (95% CI, 11.0-11.9) for patients (N = 11,010) with negative blood-culture episodes (P = .032). The adjusted mean durations of antibiotic therapy for patients with contaminated and negative blood-culture episodes were 6.0 days (95% CI, 5.3-6.7) and 5.2 days (95% CI, 4.9-5.4), respectively (P = .011).
CONCLUSIONS: Despite the use of molecular-based, rapid blood-culture identification, contamination of blood cultures continues to result in prolonged hospital stay and unnecessary antibiotic therapy in hospitalized patients.