Blood cultures in the paediatric emergency department. Guidelines and recommendations on their indications, collection, processing and interpretation ☆

Research paper by S. Hernández-Bou, C. Álvarez Álvarez, M.N. Campo Fernández, M.A. García Herrero, A. Gené Giralt, M. Giménez Pérez, R. Piñeiro Pérez, B. Gómez Cortés, R. Velasco, A.I. Menasalvas Ruiz, J.J. García García, C. Rodrigo Gonzalo de Liria

Indexed on: 09 Oct '16Published on: 06 Apr '16Published in: Anales de Pediatría (English Edition)


Blood culture (BC) is the gold standard when a bacteraemia is suspected, and is one of the most requested microbiological tests in paediatrics. Some changes have occurred in recent years: the introduction of new vaccines, the increasing number of patients with central vascular catheters, as well as the introduction of continuous monitoring BC systems. These changes have led to the review and update of different factors related to this technique in order to optimise its use. A practice guideline is presented with recommendations on BC, established by the Spanish Society of Paediatric Emergency Care and the Spanish Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases. After reviewing the available scientific evidence, several recommendations for each of the following aspects are presented: BC indications in the Emergency Department, how to obtain, transport and process cultures, special situations (indications and interpretation of results in immunosuppressed patients and/or central vascular catheter carriers, indications for anaerobic BC), differentiation between bacteraemia and contamination when a BC shows bacterial growth and actions to take with a positive BC in patients with fever without source.

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