Adverse economic impact associated with blood culture contamination in a pediatric emergency department

Yuka Murofushi, Munehiro Furuichi, Kensuke Shoji, Mitsuru Kubota, Akira Ishiguro, Satoko Uematsu, Ruoyan Gai, Isao Miyairi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Blood culture contamination (BCC) leads to unnecessary interventions including hospitalization, antibiotic administration and additional laboratory tests. Previous studies in adults revealed that BCC was associated with unnecessary financial expenditures. However, information pertaining to the pediatric population is limited. Therefore, we investigated the details of the adverse economic impact associated with BCC in a pediatric emergency department (ED) in Japan. Methods: This study was a retrospective, observational study. We collected data on blood cultures performed in patients 18 years of age in a pediatric ED. Medical records of patients with positive blood cultures were reviewed, and the information regarding adverse events related to BCC was extracted. Medical costs related to BCC were estimated from the data. Results: In total, 13,139 sets of blood cultures were performed from April 2013 to June 2016, and 141 cases (1.1%) of BCC were identified. Among these, 106 patients (75%) experienced at least 1 adverse event associated with BCC. The total medical cost due to BCC was 4,076,713 Japanese yen. Multifaceted approaches targeting ED physicians including lectures on optimal blood collection methods and monthly feedback on BCC rates were effective in reducing the BCC rate and its related costs. Conclusions: Interventions associated with BCC were common and accounted for significant adverse economic impact on pediatric patients. Regular education and monitoring were effective in reducing BCC and its related costs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)755-758
Number of pages4
JournalPediatric Infectious Disease Journal
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Aug 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Blood culture
  • Contamination rate
  • Economic impact
  • Pediatrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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