Bloodstream infection (BSI) is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in children. This study was done to assess the local epidemiology and outcome of BSIs managed at a large specialist pediatric hospital with a focus on community-onset BSI.
We retrospectively reviewed laboratory-confirmed BSI in children (0–18 years) at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead over a 3-year period (2014–2016). Laboratory data and patient medical records were used to determine BSI rates, blood culture contamination rates, patient demographics, isolate profile, antimicrobial resistance and mortality rate in this cohort.
In total, 47,368 blood cultures were collected; 1027 (2.2%) grew probable contaminants and 991 (2.1%) grew clinically significant isolates. Clinically significant bacteremia accounted for 4.8 per 1000 admissions, with 391 children managed for 465 culture-proven BSI episodes. One hundred thirty-one (28.2%) episodes were community-onset community-associated, and 334 (71.8%) were either community-onset healthcare-associated (HCA) (187; 40.2 %) or hospital-onset (147; 31.6%). Of the significant isolates, 243 (52.3%) were Gram-positive bacteria, 198 (42.6%) were Gram-negative bacteria, 6 (1.3%) were polymicrobial infections and 18 (3.9%) were yeast. Staphylococcus aureus (115; 24.7%) and Escherichia coli (54; 11.6%) were the most common organisms identified. Osteoarticular infection (44; 33.6%) and urosepsis (23; 17.6%) were the most frequent sites of infection associated with non-HCA BSI. Mortality at 30 days was reported in 15 (3.3%) children, all whom had preexisting comorbidities.
The majority of BSI episodes managed in our hospital were either community-onset HCA or hospital-onset infections. This highlights the considerable importance of infection control and central venous catheter device care initiatives. Among community-associated BSI, S. aureus in association with osteoarticular infection was predominant.