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Pediatrics. 2005 Apr;115(4):868-72.

Attributable cost of nosocomial primary bloodstream infection in pediatric intensive care unit patients.

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Departments of Pediatrics, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, Missouri, USA.



To determine the attributable cost of nosocomial primary bloodstream infections (BSIs) in PICU patients.


A prospective cohort study was conducted of the PICU of the St Louis Children's Hospital, a 235-bed academic tertiary care center. All patients who were admitted to the PICU were included unless they met the following exclusion criteria: age >18 years, death within 24 hours of PICU admission, admission to the NICU service. Total and direct medical costs of PICU and hospital stay for patients with and without nosocomial primary BSI were measured.


Fifty-seven children developed 65 episodes of primary BSIs during their PICU stay. The rate of BSI in this population was 13.8 per 1000 central venous catheter days. In multiple linear regression analysis, severity of illness as measured by the admission Pediatric Risk of Mortality Score III, congenital heart disease, underlying lung disease, ventilator days, transplant (solid organ and bone marrow), and nosocomial primary BSI were independent predictors of PICU direct costs. The direct cost of PICU admission for patients with nosocomial primary BSI was 45,615 dollars and for the patients without primary BSI was 6396 dollars.


After controlling for age, severity of illness, underlying disease, and ventilator days, we found that the direct cost of PICU admission attributable to nosocomial primary BSI was 39,219 dollars. The prevention of these infections through specific interventions is likely to be cost-effective.

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