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Emerg Med J 22:810-811 doi:10.1136/emj.2005.003079
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Simple measures to reduce the rate of contamination of blood cultures in Accident and Emergency

  1. M Madeo1,
  2. T Jackson2,
  3. C Williams1
  1. 1Department of Infection Control, Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals, Hull, UK
  2. 2Department of Accident and Emergency, Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals, Hull, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr C Williams
 Department of Microbiology, Yorkhill Hospital, Dalnair Street, Glasgow G3 8SJ, UK; craig.williamsyorkhill.scot.nhs.uk

    Abstract

    Objectives: To reduce the contamination rate of blood cultures taken in the Accident and Emergency (A&E) department.

    Methods: The standard blood culture sampling kit was supplemented with an instruction sheet on the optimal method for drawing blood cultures and a large 62% ethyl alcohol impregnated wipe.

    Results: There was a statistically significant reduction in the number of contaminants (p = 0.03).

    Conclusions: Simple measures to encourage skin disinfection and appropriate sampling technique will reduce the incidence of contamination of blood cultures in the A&E department.


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