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Pediatr Infect Dis J. 1998 Jan;17(1):10-7.

Intravenous lipid emulsions are the major determinant of coagulase-negative staphylococcal bacteremia in very low birth weight newborns.

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  • 1Hospital Infantile de Mexico, Dr. Marquez, Mexico DF.



Intravenous lipid emulsions and the i.v. catheters through which they were administered were the major risk factors for nosocomial coagulase-negative staphylococcal (CONS) bacteremia among newborns in our neonatal intensive care units a decade ago. However, medical practice is changing, and these and other interventions may have different effects in the current setting.


We determined the independent risk factors for CONS bacteremia in current very low birth weight newborns after adjusting for severity of underlying illness.


We surveyed 590 consecutively admitted newborns with birth weights < 1500 g hospitalized in 2 neonatal intensive care units and conducted a case-control study in a sample of 74 cases of CONS bacteremia and 74 pairs of matched controls. Adjusted relative odds of bacteremia were estimated for a number of attributes and therapeutic interventions in 2 time intervals before CONS bacteremia: any time before bacteremia and the week before bacteremia.


Using conditional logistic regression to adjust for indicators of severity of illness, two procedures were independently associated with subsequent risk of CONS bacteremia at any time during hospitalization: i.v. lipids, odds ratio (OR) = 9.4 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.2 to 74.2]; and any surgical or percutaneously placed central venous catheter, OR = 2.0 (95% CI 1.1 to 3.9). Considering only the week immediately preceding bacteremia, the independent risk factors were: mechanical ventilation, OR = 3.2 (95% CI 1.3 to 7.6); and short peripheral venous catheters, OR = 2.6 (95% CI 1.0 to 6.5).


During the last decade exposure to i.v. lipids any time during hospitalization has become an even more important risk factor for CONS bacteremia (OR = 9.4). Of these bacteremias 85% are now attributable to lipid therapy. In contrast the relative importance of intravenous catheters as independent risk factors has declined. Mechanical ventilation in the week before bacteremia has emerged as a risk factor for bacteremia.

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