Study Objective: To assess the clinical value of blood cultures (BCs) in the management of adult patients discharged from the emergency department (ED) with a diagnosis of community acquired pneumonia (CAP).
Methods: The courses of antibiotic regimens and outcomes of patients with positive BC results were examined to assess their influence on BCs.
Results: BCs were obtained from 289 outpatients. Six clinically significant organisms were identified (a yield of 2.1%). Outpatients with CAP who had blood cultures performed had a 0.69% (2 of 289) chance of having a change of treatment directed by the results of the culture.
Conclusion: BCs have little utility in the ambulatory management of CAP.
- community acquired pneumonia
- blood cultures
- CAP, community acquired pneumonia
- BC, blood culture
- ED, emergency department
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Presented at the 9th International Conference of Emergency Medicine, Edinburgh, Scotland, 17–21 June 2002.
Funding: this research was supported by grant 9807PT-39621-UI-D from the Medical Research. Council of Canada and by the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association of Canada Awards Program/Industry Partnership (Janssen Ortho Inc was the industry partner).
Conflicts of interest: none declared.
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