A single-center, retrospective case-control risk factor and clinical outcome analysis performed on inpatients with blood cultures collected in the emergency department, 2014–2018. Patients with contaminated blood cultures (cases) were compared to patients with negative blood cultures (controls).
Risk factors independently associated with blood-culture contamination were determined using multivariable logistic regression. The impacts of contamination on clinical outcomes were assessed using linear regression, logistic regression, and generalized linear model with γ log link.
Of 13,782 blood cultures, 1,504 (10.9%) true positives were excluded, leaving 1,012 (7.3%) cases and 11,266 (81.7%) controls. The following factors were independently associated with blood-culture contamination: increasing age (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.01; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.01–1.01), black race (aOR, 1.32; 95% CI, 1.15–1.51), increased body mass index (BMI; aOR, 1.01; 95% CI, 1.00–1.02), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (aOR, 1.16; 95% CI, 1.02–1.33), paralysis (aOR 1.64; 95% CI, 1.26–2.14) and sepsis plus shock (aOR, 1.26; 95% CI, 1.07–1.49). After controlling for age, race, BMI, and sepsis, blood-culture contamination increased length of stay (LOS; β = 1.24 ± 0.24; P < .0001), length of antibiotic treatment (LOT; β = 1.01 ± 0.20; P < .001), hospital charges (β = 0.22 ± 0.03; P < .0001), acute kidney injury (AKI; aOR, 1.60; 95% CI, 1.40–1.83), echocardiogram orders (aOR, 1.51; 95% CI, 1.30–1.75) and in-hospital mortality (aOR, 1.69; 95% CI, 1.31–2.16).
These unique risk factors identify high-risk individuals for blood-culture contamination. After controlling for confounders, contamination significantly increased LOS, LOT, hospital charges, AKI, echocardiograms, and in-hospital mortality.