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J Infus Nurs. 2011 Jan-Feb;34(1):49-54. doi: 10.1097/NAN.0b013e31820219c1.

Reducing blood-culture contamination through an education program.

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Clinical Nurse Educator, Baylor Health Care System, Garland, Texas, USA.


A blood culture is the cornerstone of an established etiological diagnosis of septicemia. Although it is not currently possible to eliminate blood-culture contamination, many interventions have been shown to reduce contamination rates. Retrospective data analysis through an initial audit with major departments at one hospital, including the intensive care unit and emergency department, showed that the blood-culture contamination rate was 4.8%, which is more than the set standard (ie, less than 3%). A decrease in blood-culture contamination rates from the initial 4.8% to less than 3% was obtained with a supervised training and evaluation program through collaborative efforts of the nursing and laboratory departments.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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