Identifying Patients with Bacteremia in Community-Hospital Emergency Rooms: A Retrospective Cohort Study

PLoS One. 2016 Mar 29;11(3):e0148078. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0148078. eCollection 2016.


Objectives: (1) To develop a clinical prediction rule to identify patients with bacteremia, using only information that is readily available in the emergency room (ER) of community hospitals, and (2) to test the validity of that rule with a separate, independent set of data.

Design: Multicenter retrospective cohort study.

Setting: To derive the clinical prediction rule we used data from 3 community hospitals in Japan (derivation). We tested the rule using data from one other community hospital (validation), which was not among the three "derivation" hospitals.

Participants: Adults (age ≥ 16 years old) who had undergone blood-culture testing while in the ER between April 2011 and March 2012. For the derivation data, n = 1515 (randomly sampled from 7026 patients), and for the validation data n = 467 (from 823 patients).

Analysis: We analyzed 28 candidate predictors of bacteremia, including demographic data, signs and symptoms, comorbid conditions, and basic laboratory data. Chi-square tests and multiple logistic regression were used to derive an integer risk score (the "ID-BactER" score). Sensitivity, specificity, likelihood ratios, and the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (i.e., the AUC) were computed.

Results: There were 241 cases of bacteremia in the derivation data. Eleven candidate predictors were used in the ID-BactER score: age, chills, vomiting, mental status, temperature, systolic blood pressure, abdominal sign, white blood-cell count, platelets, blood urea nitrogen, and C-reactive protein. The AUCs was 0.80 (derivation) and 0.74 (validation). For ID-BactER scores ≥ 2, the sensitivities for derivation and validation data were 98% and 97%, and specificities were 20% and 14%, respectively.

Conclusions: The ID-BactER score can be computed from information that is readily available in the ERs of community hospitals. Future studies should focus on developing a score with a higher specificity while maintaining the desired sensitivity.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Bacteremia / diagnosis*
  • Bacteremia / epidemiology
  • Demography
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Hospitals, Community / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • ROC Curve
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retrospective Studies

Grants and funding

This study was supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (Grant Number 23790577). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.