PURPOSE: Contaminated blood cultures have been long recognized as a problematic area for both clinicians and laboratory workers alike. In an effort to reduce contaminated blood cultures we developed a simple technique to minimise handling of samples by clinical staff.
METHODS: A butterfly cannulae with a direct inoculation method into blood culture media bottles was used. Clinical staff was educated in the use of this system. Using the appearance of coagulase negative staphloccoci (CNS)as a marker for contamination, we evaluated the number of contaminated blood culture samples over a 4 month period in comparison to a similar period the preceding year.
RESULTS: There was a 73% reduction in the number of CNS contaminated blood cultures noted over a 4 month period.
CONCLUSION: Improved techniques in obtaining blood cultures together with appropriate clinical staff education can have a significant impact in reducing contaminated blood culture samples.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Reduced contaminated blood cultures will directly lead to reduced antibiotic usage and reduced medical interventions thereby improving patient care.
DISCLOSURE: Cyril Rooney, No Financial Disclosure Information; No Product/Research Disclosure Information