Newswise — Blood culture contamination is a clinically significant problem that results in patient harm and excess cost due to significant numbers of blood cultures that are contaminated, due in part to skin fragments containing bacteria that are dislodged during a blood draw. About 30 to 40 percent of patients with contaminated blood samples are prescribed antibiotics unnecessarily, resulting in the need for large numbers of patients get another, unnecessary blood draw. For many patients the risks include an extended hospital stay and potential side effects of antibiotics.
“A lot of people think this is a minor problem, however, contaminated blood cultures are a big deal,”says infectious disease expert Dr. Mark Rupp, author of the study. “Physicians can be led astray and patients may be harmed by additional tests and unnecessary antimicrobial therapy.”
The full study with results demonstrating the effectiveness of this new device to reduce blood sample contamination rates is published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases (May 17).