Table 1

Clinical features of patients undergoing blood culture in the emergency department

Patient featureaTotal no. of patients seen in the EDNo. of patients whose blood was culturedNo. (%) of likely pathogens recoveredNo. (%) of likely contaminants recovered
Age
    0–60 days7581425 (3.5)4 (2.8)
    61 days to 2.9 yr5,64042139 (9.2)8 (1.9)
    3–17.9 yr12,59092746 (5.0)15 (1.6)
    18–49 yr36,2362,069149 (7.2)76 (3.7)
    50–59 yr10,6911,26094 (7.5)51 (4.0)
    60–69 yr7,5831,219132 (10.8)63 (5.2)
    70–79 yr4,92985389 (10.4)32 (3.8)
    >80 yr4,09467752 (7.7)36 (5.3)
    All ages82,5217,568606 (8.0)285 (3.8)
Disposition
    Hospitalized26,6956,113532 (8.7)234 (3.8)
        Admitted to general care23,5665,284406 (7.7)187 (3.5)
        Admitted to ICU2,136728106 (14.6)b42 (5.8)
        Transferred to OR99310111 (10.9)5 (5.0)
    Discharged home52,7011,07836 (3.3)17 (1.6)
    Left prior to evaluation2,310232 (8.7)0 (0.0)
    Died prior to discharge6183 (37.5)1 (12.5)
    Transferred to other facility40340 (0.0)0 (0.0)
    Other34234242 (12.2)33 (9.6)
  • a OR, operating room; ICU, intensive care unit.

  • b P < 0.05; proportions were compared to reference groups of 18- to 49-year-olds and admissions to general care.