Early deaths associated with community-acquired and healthcare-associated bloodstream infections: a population-based study, Finland, 2004 to 2018

Keiju S.K. Kontula, Kirsi Skogberg, Jukka Ollgren, Asko Järvinen, Outi Lyytikäinen

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Background: Bloodstream infections (BSI) cause substantial morbidity and mortality. Aim: We explored the role of causative pathogens and patient characteristics on the outcome of community-acquired (CA) and healthcare-associated (HA) BSI, with particular interest in early death. Methods: We used national register data to identify all BSI in Finland during 2004–18. We determined the origin of BSI, patients´ underlying comorbidities and deaths within 2 or 30 days from specimen collection. A time-dependent Cox model was applied to evaluate the impact of patient characteristics and causative pathogens on the hazard for death at different time points. Results: A total of 173,715 BSI were identified; 22,474 (12.9%) were fatal within 30 days and, of these, 6,392 (28.4%) occurred within 2 days (7.9 deaths/100,000 population). The 2-day case fatality rate of HA-BSI was higher than that of CA-BSI (5.4% vs 3.0%). Patients who died within 2 days were older than those alive on day 3 (76 vs 70 years) and had more severe comorbidities. Compared with other BSI, infections leading to death within 2 days were more often polymicrobial (11.8% vs 6.3%) and caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa (6.2% vs 2.0%), fungi (2.9% vs 1.4%) and multidrug-resistant (MDR) pathogens (2.2% vs 1.8%), which were also predictors of death within 2 days in the model. Conclusions: Overrepresentation of polymicrobial, fungal, P. aeruginosa and MDR aetiology among BSI leading to early death is challenging concerning the initial antimicrobial treatment. Our findings highlight the need for active prevention and prompt recognition of BSI and appropriate antimicrobial treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2101067
Issue number36
Publication statusPublished - 8 Sept 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Bibliographical note

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© 2022 European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). All rights reserved.

Fields of Science

  • 3121 General medicine, internal medicine and other clinical medicine

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