Role of blood culture in critically sick paediatric patients and its clinical impact: a tertiary care hospital based study

Khurshid Wani, Imran Gattoo, Kaiser Ahmed, Wasim Qadir


Background: Blood cultures form a critical part of evaluation of patients with suspected sepsis. The present study was undertaken to study the risk factors, duration of incubation for obtaining positive cultures, and the clinical impact of the culture report.

Methods: A total of 224 samples from 110 critically sick pediatric patients presenting with suspected bacteraemia were processed aerobically.

Results: Cultures were positive in 25.45% of the Patients. Most of the positive cultures were obtained after 24 hours of incubation of the broth and no isolates were obtained beyond day 4 of incubation. Therapy was modified in 52.73% of the patients after receipt of culture report.

Conclusions: Incubation beyond four days (unless with specific indication like enteric fever) may be unnecessary for issuing a negative culture report. Repeated isolation of doubtful pathogens confirms true bacteraemia. Early culture report increases therapeutic compliance.


Blood culture, Clinical impact, Septicaemia, Bacteraemia

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