Decreasing Blood Culture Contamination Rates When Using an Initial Peripheral IV: Implementing the 5 P’s and Using a Closed System Device

Denise Rhew and Wendy Childress, Cone Health, Greensboro, NC

Blood culture remains the gold standard for the diagnosis and treatment of bacteraemia and is the first-line tool or detecting bloodstream infections1. Research shows that the emergency department (ED) is an essential component of the health care system and subject to workflow challenges, which may hinder ED personnel adherence to guideline-based infection prevention practices.2 This impact has wide-reaching effects. Moreover, a fast-paced ED presents a host of challenges with competing priorities. In addition, EDs are perceived as 24/7 portals where rapid and efficient diagnosis, urgent attention, primary care, and inpatient admission is provided for stabilizing seriously ill and wounded patients.3 Blood culture contaminants are common, and they have a significant impact on patients and staff, contributing to unnecessary or inappropriate antibiotic treatment, increased length of stay, and costly economic burden.4 The aim of this study was to evaluate the use of an automated blood culture collection system when drawing blood cultures from a peripheral IV and to evaluate the effectiveness of implementing evidence-based policies, procedures, practice, products, and patient care to reduce blood culture contamination rates.

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