Is It Safe to Exclude Central-Line Infections at 24 hrs?

A recent study (GL Fell et al. J Pediatr 2020; 227: 69-76. Optimizing Duration of Empiric Management of Suspected Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections in Pediatric Patients with Intestinal Failure) showed that 98% of blood cultures returned positive within 24 hrs.

This prospective single-institution cohort study with 73 patients had 128 Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections (CLBSI) in 35 patients during the study period (2015-2018).

Key findings:

  • The probability of a blood culture becoming positive after 24 hours was 2.3%; only 1 blood culture became positive after 30 hours (none beyond 48 hrs).
  • The median time from blood sampling to positive culture was 11.1 hours.
  • Elevated C-reactive protein and neutrophil predominance in white blood cell count were associated with positive blood cultures

My take: 98% is not good enough. For now, 48-hours is the safest policy.

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Bahai Temple in Wilmette, IL

Disclaimer: This blog, gutsandgrowth, assumes no responsibility for any use or operation of any method, product, instruction, concept or idea contained in the material herein or for any injury or damage to persons or property (whether products liability, negligence or otherwise) resulting from such use or operation. These blog posts are for educational purposes only. Specific dosing of medications (along with potential adverse effects) should be confirmed by prescribing physician.  Because of rapid advances in the medical sciences, the gutsandgrowth blog cautions that independent verification should be made of diagnosis and drug dosages. The reader is solely responsible for the conduct of any suggested test or procedure.  This content is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a condition.

Antibiotic Selection for Suspected Central Line Infections

A recent study (BP Raphael et al. JPGN 2019; 70: 59-63) describes 309 central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) in 90 children were dependent on parenteral nutrition (median age 3.8 years).

Key findings:

  • 60% of isolated organisms were gram-positive, 34% were gram-negative, and 6% fungi.
  • For gram-positive organisms, 51% were sensitive to methicillin
  • For gram-negative organisms, 71% were sensitive to piperacillin-tazobactam, 97% to cefepime, and 99% to meropenem

Based on these findings, the authors advocate the following:

  • “Vancomycin and cefepime provide improve coverage over vancomcyin piperacillin-tazobactam for” CLABSI
  • Empiric use of vancomycin and meropenem “may be justified” in septic shock “where maximal probability of cure outweighs risks of long-term drug resistance”
  • If there is an increased fungemia risk, such as prior fungal infections, shock, or immunodeficiency, the authors recommend adding fluconazole

Another advantage of cefepime over piperacillin-tazobactam is a reduced risk of acute kidney injury which has been associated with the latter.

My take: Individual institutions may have variable organism sensitivity.  In the absence of institutional data, this recommendations are a good starting point.

Related blog post: #NASPGHAN19 Intestinal Failure Session Part 1

Disclaimer: This blog, gutsandgrowth, assumes no responsibility for any use or operation of any method, product, instruction, concept or idea contained in the material herein or for any injury or damage to persons or property (whether products liability, negligence or otherwise) resulting from such use or operation. These blog posts are for educational purposes only. Specific dosing of medications (along with potential adverse effects) should be confirmed by prescribing physician.  Because of rapid advances in the medical sciences, the gutsandgrowth blog cautions that independent verification should be made of diagnosis and drug dosages. The reader is solely responsible for the conduct of any suggested test or procedure.  This content is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a condition.

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