Blood cultures in paediatric patients: a study of clinical impact

Indian J Med Microbiol. 2007 Jul;25(3):220-4. doi: 10.4103/0255-0857.34762.


Purpose: Blood cultures form a critical part of evaluation of patients with suspected sepsis. The present study was undertaken to study the risk factors, duration of incubation for obtaining positive cultures and the clinical impact of the culture report.

Methods: A total of 220 samples from 107 pediatric patients presenting with suspected bacteraemia were processed aerobically.

Results: Cultures were positive in 18.7% of the samples. Most of the positive cultures were obtained after 24 hours of incubation of the broth and no isolates were obtained beyond day 4 of incubation. Therapy was modified in 54.23% of the patients after receipt of culture report.

Conclusions: Incubation beyond four days (unless with specific indication like enteric fever) may be unnecessary for issuing a negative culture report. Repeated isolation of doubtful pathogens confirms true bacteraemia. Early culture report increases therapeutic compliance.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Aerobiosis
  • Bacteremia / blood*
  • Bacteremia / drug therapy
  • Bacteremia / microbiology
  • Bacteria / growth & development
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification
  • Bacterial Infections / blood*
  • Bacterial Infections / drug therapy
  • Bacterial Infections / microbiology
  • Bacteriological Techniques
  • Candida albicans / growth & development
  • Candida albicans / isolation & purification
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Mycology / methods
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sepsis / blood*
  • Sepsis / drug therapy
  • Sepsis / microbiology