Sep 1, 1989

Investigation of a Streptococcus viridans pseudobacteremia epidemic at a university teaching hospital

Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology : the Official Journal of the Society of Hospital Epidemiologists of America
D L Church, H E Bryant

Abstract

For several months in 1986, an outbreak of Streptococcus viridans pseudobacteremia occurred at a large teaching hospital. All sources of laboratory blood culture contamination were excluded. A retrospective epidemiological study indicated that one phlebotomist, "P," collected a disproportionate number of the positive blood cultures. Further comparison of the paired blood culture results from the three months when the incidence was highest revealed a good concordance of results among all other phlebotomists (Kappa = 0.5), while P's results concurred with others less frequently than would be expected even by chance (Kappa less than 0.0). Clinical follow-up showed that P did not routinely wear gloves while drawing blood and had eczema of the hands. Skin scrapings from the hands, right index finger/fingernail grew predominantly S viridans species that were compatible with those recovered from contaminated blood cultures. This epidemic demonstrated the need for early detection of this source as a cause of nosocomial pseudobacteremia.

  • References9
  • Citations3

Citations

Mentioned in this Paper

Entire Nail of Finger
Collection of Blood Specimen for Laboratory Procedure
Streptococcus viridans
Eczema
Disease Outbreaks
Structure of Nail of Finger
Health Manpower
Phlebotomist
Streptococcal Infections
Epidemiology

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