Evolution over a 15-year period of clinical characteristics and outcomes of critically ill patients with community-acquired bacteremia

Jordi Vallés, Mercedes Palomar, Francisco Alvárez-Lerma, Jordi Rello, Armando Blanco, José Garnacho-Montero, Ignacio Martín-Loeches

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26 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE:: In recent years, outcomes for critically ill patients with severe sepsis have improved; however, no data have been reported about the outcome of patients admitted for community-acquired bacteremia. We aimed to analyze the changes in the prevalence, characteristics, and outcome of critically ill patients with community-acquired bacteremia over the past 15 yrs. DESIGN:: A secondary analysis of prospective cohort studies in critically ill patients in three annual periods (1993, 1998, and 2007). SETTING:: Forty-seven ICUs at secondary and tertiary care hospitals. PATIENTS:: All adults admitted to the participating ICUs with at least one true-positive blood culture finding within the first 48 hrs of admission. INTERVENTIONS:: None. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS:: A total of 829 patients was diagnosed with community-acquired bacteremia during the study periods (148, 196, and 485 in the three periods). The prevalence density rate of community-acquired bacteremia increased from nine per 1000 ICU admissions in 1993 to 24.4 episodes per 1,000 ICU admissions in 2007 (p < 0.001). The prevalence of septic shock also increased from 4.6 episodes/1,000 admissions in 1993 to 14.6 episodes/1,000 admissions in 2007 (p < 0.001). Patients with community-acquired bacteremia were significantly older and had more comorbidities. No significant differences were observed in the presence of Gram-positive and Gram-negative micro-organisms among the three study periods. Mortality related to community-acquired bacteremia decreased over the three study periods: 42%, 32.2%, and 22.9% in 1993, 1998, and 2007, respectively (p < 0.01). The occurrence of septic shock and the number of comorbidities were independently associated with worse outcome. Appropriate antibiotic therapy and development of community-acquired bacteremia in 1998 and 2007 were independently associated with better survival. CONCLUSIONS:: The prevalence of community-acquired bacteremia in ICU patients has increased. Despite a higher percentage of more severe and older patients, the mortality associated with community-acquired bacteremia decreased. Improved management of severe sepsis might explain the improvements in outcomes. © 2013 by the Society of Critical Care Medicine and Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-83
JournalCritical Care Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


  • bacteremia
  • community-acquired
  • ICU
  • outcome
  • sepsis
  • septic shock


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