K-3406. Clinical Practice of Obtaining Blood Cultures From Patients with a Central Venous Catheter (CVC) in Place: an International Survey
Session: Poster Session: Catheter-Related Bloodstream Infections
Monday, October 27, 2008: 12:00 AM
Room: Hall C
Background: We sought to investigate current clinical practice of obtaining blood cultures. Methods: A survey was conducted among clinicians indexed as corresponding authors for articles published in journals in the fields of intensive care medicine and hematology. Participants were asked to complete a semi-structured web-based questionnaire regarding their everyday clinical practice of obtaining blood cultures from patients with a central venous catheter (CVC) in place. Results: The online questionnaire was accessed by 578 clinicians and response rate was 386/578 (67%). A total of 249 participants (64.5%) answered that in a patient, with a CVC in place, suspected to have blood stream infection they usually obtain one set of blood cultures from CVC and one set from peripheral vein (PV). The rest of the participants chose different answers; “two sets from PV”, “one from PV”, “one from CVC” and “other” [35/386 (9.1%), 32/386 (8.3%), 27/386 (7%) and 27/386 (7%) participants, respectively]. Clinicians who seemed to have deeper knowledge regarding the diagnostic value of blood cultures (as inferred by answering correctly to questions on the diagnostic performance characteristics of blood cultures) obtain more often “one culture from CVC and one culture from PV” compared to those that did not (73.9% vs. 61.7%, P=0.037). Conclusion: This survey outlines that, even among experts, several aspects of the procedure of obtaining blood cultures are rather controversial. A considerable proportion (17.4%) of participants obtains a single set of cultures for the diagnosis of blood stream infections.
Matthew Falagas, MD, MSc, DSc1, Vangelis Alexiou, MD2, Vrettos Ierodiakonou, MD2 and  M. E. Falagas, None., (1)Alfa Institute of Biomedical Sciences (AIBS), Athens, Greece, (2)Alfa Institute of Biomedical Sciences (AIBS)