Reducing False-Positive Blood Cultures: Using a Blood Diversion Device

David M. O’Sullivan and Lee Steere, Hartford Hospital, Hartford, CT.

Determining if and when a patient receives antibiotic therapy can be a life saving decision. If a person has an infection, starting antibiotics early is important;  however if a person does not need the antibiotics, starting them has significant financial and health-related consequences.

To evaluate if a minimal-risk blood diversion device could be used successfully to reduce the rate of false-positive blood cultures.

The false-positive blood culture rate (FPR) was compared for three months using a blood diversion device and three months not using a blood diversion device.

There was a significantly lower rate of FPR during use of the blood diversion device (0.44%), compared with an average of 1.71% for the three months not used, an average reduction of 74.1%.

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