Vascular Access Conversation - IVUPDATE Podcast from IVTEAM

"The findings of this study suggest that the multistep process of blood culturing is not managed comprehensively in Israel, leading to poor clinical practices and delayed results" Temkin et al (2022).
Blood culture procedure

Abstract:

Importance: Blood culturing is a critical diagnostic procedure affecting patient outcomes and antibiotic stewardship. Although there are standards for blood culturing, the process is not often measured.

Objectives: To evaluate processes related to the diagnosis of bloodstream infection and compare them with best practices.

Design, setting, and participants: A quality improvement study using laboratory data from January 1 to June 30, 2019, was conducted in 28 (96.6%) Israeli acute care hospitals. All blood cultures (BCs) performed on samples from adults and children in a period of 147 hospital-months were analyzed. Data analysis was performed from April 12, 2021, to September 9, 2022.

Main outcomes and measures: True pathogen detection rate, contamination rate, proportion of adults with blood cultures performed, proportion of adult culturing episodes with only 1 set or bottle used, and median time of steps from sample collection to pathogen identification.

Results: The data set consisted of 348 987 BC bottles. Bloodstream infection was detected in a median of 6.7% (IQR, 5.8%-8.2%) of adult culturing episodes and 1.1% (IQR, 0.7%-1.9%) of pediatric episodes. Eleven of 27 hospitals (40.7%) with adult patients met the standard of a contamination rate of less than 3% and only 2 hospitals (7.4%) met the more stringent standard of less than or equal to 1% contamination rate. The percentage of adults with blood cultures ranged from 2.7% to 29.0% (mean , 15.7% [6.0%]). There was an association between sampling rate and pathogen detection until BCs were performed in 17% of adult admissions. The percentage of solitary BCs ranged from 47.8% to 94.4%. An estimated 1745 of 7436 (23.5%) adult bloodstream infections went undetected because solitary BCs were performed, anaerobic bottles were not used, or BCs were not performed. Median processing time was 51.2 (IQR, 33.9-78.0) hours, 3 times the optimal time: 4.4 (IQR, 1.7-12.5) hours for the preanalytical stage, 15.9 (IQR, 10.2-23.6) hours from incubation to growth detection, 4.5 (IQR, 1.5-10.7) hours from detection to Gram stain, and 30.9 (IQR, 22.0-41.9) hours from detection to isolate identification. An 8.6-hour delay was related to off-hours operating of laboratories.

Conclusions and relevance: The findings of this study suggest that the multistep process of blood culturing is not managed comprehensively in Israel, leading to poor clinical practices and delayed results.

Reference:

Temkin E, Biran D, Braun T, Schwartz D, Carmeli Y. Analysis of Blood Culture Collection and Laboratory Processing Practices in Israel. JAMA Netw Open. 2022 Oct 3;5(10):e2238309. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.38309. PMID: 36282502; PMCID: PMC9597385.