Prevalence of bloodstream infections in children with Short-Bowel Syndrome with a central line presenting to emergency department with fever


Advocate Lutheran General Hospital


BACKGROUND: Children with short-bowel syndrome (SBS) have significant morbidity and mortality from bloodstream infections (BSIs). We studied the prevalence of BSI in children with SBS and identified possible predictors of BSI.

METHODS: This retrospective cohort study included patients with SBS who presented to Holtz Children's Hospital from April 1, 2009, to June 30, 2014, with fever or reported fever. Data including vital signs, white blood cell (WBC) count, C-reactive protein (CRP) levels, and blood and urine cultures were reviewed. We calculated the prevalence of BSI and its confidence level. We also assessed the odds of BSI with increases in WBC and CRP values.

RESULTS: A total of 246 encounters were evaluated. The adjusted calculated prevalence rate for BSI in children with SBS and fever was 55% (95% CI, 42.3%-65.4%). There were 114 gram-negative infections (72.6%), 46 gram-positive infections (29.3%), and 17 fungal infections (10.8%). Using the regression model, each additional 10 units above 20 mg/L CRP increased the odds of BSI by 26%. There was no association between WBC count and the presence of BSI.

CONCLUSION: Children with fever and SBS are at high risk for BSI with gram-positive and gram-negative organisms as well as fungus. WBC count at presentation is a poor predictor of BSI. Though elevated CRP increased the odds of BSI, its low negative predictive value made it a poor predictor of BSI in these patients. Children with SBS and fever should be treated urgently with broad-spectrum antibiotics.

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