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Infectious Disease Consultation for Staphylococcus aureus Bacteremia Improves Patient Management and Outcomes

Pragman, Alexa A. MD, PhD*; Kuskowski, Michael A. PhD†‡; Abraham, James M. MD§; Filice, Gregory A. MD*∥

Infectious Diseases in Clinical Practice: July 2012 - Volume 20 - Issue 4 - p 261–267
doi: 10.1097/IPC.0b013e318255d67c
Original Articles

Background Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia (SAB) is a common, severe infectious disease (ID) with accepted standards of care.

Methods A retrospective cohort study of all 233 SAB cases at the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center between October 2004 and February 2008 was performed to measure the impact of ID consultation on conformance to standards and patient outcomes. Outcomes were classified as survived without relapse, relapsed, or died without relapse. Infectious disease involvement was classified as consultation, curbside, or no involvement.

Results Infectious disease involvement occurred in 179 (77%) of 233 cases. Management conformed to accepted standards in 162 (82%) of 197 cases evaluable for conformance. Infectious disease involvement was associated with increased conformance in univariable analysis and multivariable analysis adjusted for propensity for ID consultation (odds ratio [OR], 5.9; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.5–13.8). Relapse occurred in 14 (9%) of 156 cases in which therapy conformed to standards compared with 8 (23%) of 35 cases in which therapy did not conform to standards (P = 0.045). Relapse was more common in older patients (OR, 1.05; 95% CI, 1.01–1.09) and in cases without ID involvement (OR, 3.02; 95% CI, 1.003–9.1). Death was associated with greater Charlson index scores (OR, 1.89; 95% CI, 1.4–2.5). Of 111 cases with definitely or possibly infected devices, relapse occurred in 9 (9.8%) of 92 cases in which the device was wholly or partially removed compared with 6 (32%) of 19 cases in which the device was left in place (P = 0.02).

Conclusions Infectious disease involvement in SAB cases was associated with increased adherence to accepted standards and fewer relapses. Infectious disease consultation should be performed for all SAB cases.

Pragman et al. performed a retrospective cohort study that measured the impact of infectious disease consultation on conformance to accepted standards of care and outcomes in patients with Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia. Pragman et al. found that infectious disease consultation was associated with increased adherence to accepted standards of care, and adherence to these standards was associated with decreased risk of relapse. They conclude that infectious disease consultants should be involved in the care of all patients with S. aureus bacteremia.

From the *Division of Infectious Diseases and International Medicine and †Department of Psychiatry, University of Minnesota Medical School; ‡Geriatric Research and Education Center, Veterans Affairs Medical Center; §Department of Medicine, University of Minnesota Medical School; and ∥Infectious Disease Section, Medical Service, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Minneapolis; MN.

Correspondence to: Alexa A. Pragman, MD, PhD, University of Minnesota Medical Center, Division of Infectious Diseases and International Medicine, MMC 250, 420 Delaware St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455. E-mail:

Dr Pragman was supported by a National Institutes of Health training grant (T32-AI55433).

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.