n South African Medical Journal - The value of blood culture audits at peripheral hospitals : scientific letter




Knowledge of local antibiotic sensitivities is crucial to creating appropriate empiric antibiotic guidelines. The new National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) Data Warehouse allows clinicians to access collated spreadsheets of culture isolates and antimicrobial susceptibility patterns for their facilities. We used this service to study the trends in blood culture (BC) results at GF Jooste Hospital from 2005 to 2010. We investigated the BC contamination rate and changes in the antibiotic sensitivity profiles of selected organisms, and estimated the proportion of infections that were hospital-acquired. Over 3000 BCs were performed per year in this period. A very high contamination rate was observed (7 - 9%) in 2005 - 2007, with a gratifying reduction by 2010. Ceftriaxone resistance increased from 16% to 62% in (<0.0001), and from 33% to 100% in spp. (=0.053).


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