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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;


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.

  • CNS, coagulase negative staphylococci
  • skin disinfection
  • blood culture
  • contamination

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