By Susan C. Lipsett, Matthew Hall, Lilliam Ambroggio, Sanyukta Desai, Samir S. Shah, Thomas V. Brogan, Adam L. Hersh, Derek J. Williams, Carlos G. Grijalva, Jeffrey S. Gerber, Anne J. Blaschke, Mark I. Neuman. Published in Hospital Pediatrics. September 13, 2019.
The yield of blood cultures in children hospitalized with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is low. Characteristics of children at increased risk of bacteremia remain largely unknown. We conducted a secondary analysis of a retrospective cohort study of children aged 3 months to 18 years hospitalized with CAP in 6 children’s hospitals from 2007 to 2011. We excluded children with complex chronic conditions and children without blood cultures performed at admission. Clinical, laboratory, microbiologic, and radiologic data were assessed to identify predictors of bacteremia. Among 7509 children hospitalized with CAP, 2568 (34.2%) had blood cultures performed on the first day of hospitalization. The median age was 3 years. Sixty-five children with blood cultures performed had bacteremia (2.5%), and 11 children (0.4%) had bacteremia with a penicillin-nonsusceptible pathogen. The prevalence of bacteremia was increased in children with a white blood cell count >20 × 103 cells per µL (5.4%; 95% confidence interval 3.5%–8.1%) and in children with definite radiographic pneumonia (3.3%; 95% confidence interval 2.4%–4.4%); however, the prevalence of penicillin-nonsusceptible bacteremia was below 1% even in the presence of individual predictors. Among children hospitalized outside of the ICU, the prevalence of contaminated blood cultures exceeded the prevalence of penicillin-nonsusceptible bacteremia. Although the prevalence of bacteremia is marginally higher among children with leukocytosis or radiographic pneumonia, the rates remain low, and penicillin-nonsusceptible bacteremia is rare even in the presence of these predictors. Blood cultures should not be obtained in children hospitalized with CAP in a non-ICU setting.
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