- Last Update On : 2013-02-20
More than 200,000 cases of septicemia occur annually in the US and are associated with a 20-50% mortality rate. Detection of bacteremia is important in establishing the primary diagnosis in high risk patients, confirming the bacterial etiology of a focal infection, detecting complications of focal infections, monitoring antibiotic therapy, and excluding serious infections such as endocarditis.
In 2007, the positive rate in a large tertiary care hospital in the Midwest was 10%. The majority of positive blood cultures yielded Gram-positive bacteria (73%), followed by Gram-negative bacteria (20%), anaerobic bacteria (5%), and fungus (2%). Generally, the following isolates nearly always represent true bacteremia or fungemia when isolated from blood cultures, even if only one culture is positive: Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Candida species, and enteric gram-negative bacteria such as E. coli. Other less commonly isolated organisms that