Brief Report

Blood culture contamination rates at different level healthcare institutions in the Western Cape, South Africa

Christoffel J. Opperman, Banyana Baloyi, Sipho Dlamini, Nazlee Samodien
Southern African Journal of Infectious Diseases | Vol 35, No 1 | a222 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajid.v35i1.222 | © 2020 Christoffel J. Opperman, Banyana Baloyi, Sipho Dlamini, Nazlee Samodien | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 May 2020 | Published: 11 December 2020

About the author(s)

Christoffel J. Opperman, Division of Medical Microbiology, Department of Pathology, Faculty of Health Sciences, National Health Laboratory Service, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
Banyana Baloyi, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
Sipho Dlamini, Division of Infectious Diseases and HIV Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
Nazlee Samodien, Division of Medical Microbiology, National Health Laboratory Service, University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa


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Abstract

Sterile blood culture (BC) collection procedures are important to prevent the consequences of contamination, namely, prolonged patient hospitalisation, unnecessary antimicrobial exposure and an increase in hospital costs. Blood culture contamination rates were determined at different hospitals in the Cape Metropole over a 3-year period. Study findings showed that contaminated BCs have a financial impact on the healthcare system and contamination rates remain above accepted international standards, except in the presence of a phlebotomist team. High BC contamination rates might be reduced by the implementation of cost-effective educational intervention programmes, which reminds healthcare workers to collect BC samples aseptically.

Keywords

bacterial infections; blood culture; contamination; education; intervention.

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