Turkish pediatric residents' knowledge, perceptions, and practices of blood culture sampling

Arch Pediatr. 2021 Apr;28(3):191-196. doi: 10.1016/j.arcped.2021.02.013. Epub 2021 Mar 9.


Introduction: Pediatrics is one of the medical specialties in which blood cultures for bloodstream infections are performed very frequently. This study aimed to evaluate pediatric residents' knowledge and perceptions of blood culture sampling.

Material and methods: Between June 2019 and September 2019, a questionnaire comprising 20 questions about blood culture sampling was sent via email to participants who were pediatric residents at five different hospitals in Turkey. There were 11 true/false and nine multiple-choice questions that assessed three aspects of culture sampling: indications, sampling practice and knowledge, and contamination. The percentage of correct answers was used to calculate an overall score and subsection scores.

Results: A total of 132 pediatric residents [102 (77%) female] with a mean age of 28.3±2.8 years completed the questionnaire. Forty-five (35%) were in their 1st year of residency. Sixty (46%) participants reported that they had not performed blood culture sampling in the last week. There was a negative relationship between years in training and the number of cultures performed (Kendal's tau-b=-0.297, p<0.001). The overall median score was 65 (range, 35-90) and it seemed to increase with years of training. The lowest median score was in the contamination subscale and only one (0.76%) participant correctly answered all questions concerning contamination.

Conclusion: Residents who obtained the majority of blood cultures had the lowest knowledge levels. Therefore, it is evident that the knowledge levels of pediatric residents must be increased in order to improve blood culture sampling practices in centers where they perform blood culture sampling.

Keywords: Blood culture; Contamination; Knowledge; Pediatrician; Sampling practice.