Positive blood cultures in a burn cohort: Findings from the Burns Registry of Australia & New Zealand.

Heather Cleland1,2, Belinda Gabbe1, Alex Padiglione2, Tracey Perret4, Edward Raby3, Miss Yvonne Singer1,2, Lincoln Tracy1, Fiona Wood3

1Victorian Adult Burn Service, The Alfred, , , 2School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University , , , 3State Adult Burn Service, Fiona Stanley Hospital, , , 4National Burn Service, Middlemore Hospital, ,


Effects of bacteraemia and sepsis on morbidity and mortality following burn injury remain significant. Blood culture is essential for diagnosis of blood stream infection, identification of causative pathogens, and susceptibility testing to guide antibiotic therapy. The aim of this study was to examine the incidence of positive blood cultures and effects on length of stay (LOS) in patients ≥16 years old admitted to Australian and New Zealand Burn Centres between July 2016 and December 2018.

Preliminary analysis of 12 months of data (July 2016 -June 2017) from the Burn Registry of Australia and New Zealand (BRANZ) identified 2,286 eligible patients ≥16 years old. Six hundred and thirty-two patients (27.7%) had blood cultures taken, and of these, 27 patients (4.3%) had positive blood cultures. Sixty-five percent of positive blood culture pathogens were gram positive micro-organisms, and 35% were multi-resistant micro-organisms. Only 38% of patients were already receiving appropriate antibiotics at the time of the first positive blood culture result. Inhalation injury and increased % Body Surface Area were risk factors for positive blood cultures. Bacteraemic patients were more likely to have surgery and had a longer LOS. Although clinically significant, the small sample size limited statistical analysis; however, the addition of another 18 months of data will make our findings more robust.


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