In Omori Hospital, Toho University School of Medicine, relatively low-virulence blood isolates, including coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS), enterococci and non-fermentative gram-negative rods other than comprised 60% of total blood isolates. A retrospective study was conducted to assess their clinical significance by reviewing a total of 91 hospital charts. The physicians' assessments of these positive blood cultures as recorded in the charts were classified into four categories—sepsis, possible sepsis, contamination and no comment. The episodes classified as sepsis accounted for 5.0-19.6%. These episodes were also evaluated by a graded clinical significance score based on multiple factors, including number of positive cultures and clinical signs. The scores for the 91 episodes covered a wide range from 1 to 9, indicating that both contaminants and causative organisms may have been involved. The episodes judged as sepsis or possible sepsis tended to have higher scores. The scores for the episodes associated with enterococci were also higher than those involving CNS or non-fermentative gram-negative rods. The scores for episodes associated with intravenous hyperalimentation catheters were higher than those not associated with the catheters.


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