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Continous surveillance of bloodstream infections across departments at a Danish University Hospital

Introduction / objectives

The rate of bloodstream infections has been monitored monthly since 2004 at Aarhus University Hospital, Skejby. The hospital is a tertiary referral hospital with 400 beds specialising in paediatrics, gynaecology & obstetrics, urology, thoracic and vascular surgery, renal medicine, cardiology, infectious diseases and intensive care.

The aim of this study was to identify variations in bloodstream infection rates across departments.


Monthly all patients with positive blood cultures are monitored concerning true infection or contamination and if the infection is community-or hospital/healthcare-acquired. The bloodstream infection rates are presented as number of episodes per 1000 beddays. The infection rates are sent to each department quarterly followed by staff-meetings. To identify trends in bloodstream infection rates we also perform six-month moving averages.


In the years 2007 - 2010 the total bloodstream infection rates for the hospital were 3.0, 3.1, 2.9, and 2.6 episodes per 1000 beddays. Hospital-acquired infections accounted for 2.2, 2.0, 2.0, and 2.0 episodes per 1000 bed-days. There were great differences in hospital-acquired bloodstream infection rates across departments ranging from 0.5 episodes per 1000 beddays in gynaecology & obstetrics to 5.3 episodes per 1000 beddays in urology in 2010.


The overall rate of hospital-acquired bloodstream infections has remained at the same level in the past four years at our hospital. However, some departments have a high rate constituting a continuous challenge for improvement.

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None declared.

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Leth, R. Continous surveillance of bloodstream infections across departments at a Danish University Hospital. BMC Proc 5 (Suppl 6), P64 (2011).

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  • Blood Culture
  • Infection Rate
  • Bloodstream Infection
  • Tertiary Referral
  • Referral Hospital