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Hosp Pediatr. 2013 Oct;3(4):355-61. doi: 10.1542/hpeds.2013-0009.

Ruling out bacteremia and bacterial meningitis in infants less than one month of age: is 48 hours of hospitalization necessary?

Author information

1
School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, California;

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The appropriate duration of hospitalization for infants ≤ 30 days admitted for fever or other concerns for a serious bacterial infection is an understudied area. We sought to determine the risk of a positive, pathogenic bacterial culture of blood or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in this population beyond 24 hours after collection.

METHODS:

This study was a retrospective review of 1145 infants aged ≤30 days who had a blood or CSF culture from 1999 to 2010 at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, a county health system in San Jose, California. Time to notification and the probability of a positive culture result after 24 hours were calculated. Infants were considered high risk if they had either a white blood cell count <5000 or >15 000 per µL, a band count >1500 per µL, or an abnormal urinalysis.

RESULTS:

We identified 1876 cultures (1244 blood, 632 CSF) in 1145 infants aged ≤30 days; 901 (79%) of 1145 were hospitalized and 408 (45%) of 901 hospitalizations were for fever without source (FWS). Thirty-one (2.7%) of the 1145 infants had pathogenic cultures; 6 of 1145 infants (0.5% [95% confidence interval: 0.2-1.1]) had a time to notification >24 hours. All 6 patients had FWS (1.5% of hospitalized FWS sample) and met high-risk criteria on presentation. No low-risk patients had a time to notification >24 hours. Low-risk characteristics were found in 57% (232 of 408) of the entire hospitalized FWS population.

CONCLUSIONS:

Low-risk infants hospitalized for FWS or other concerns for serious bacterial infection may not need hospitalization for a full 48 hours simply to rule out bacteremia and bacterial meningitis.

KEYWORDS:

diagnostic decision-making; meningitis; sepsis and shock

PMID:
24435193
DOI:
10.1542/hpeds.2013-0009
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