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December 1968

Clostridial Bacteremia Without Hemolysis

Author Affiliations


From the departments of medicine of the Baltimore City Hospitals and The; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore.

Arch Intern Med. 1968;122(6):496-501. doi:10.1001/archinte.1968.00300100030007

Clostridial bacteremia without hemolysis occurred in 20 patients with serious chronic diseases and in patients with postabortal and postpartum sepsis. The underlying chronic disease was the cause of ulcerated or necrotic processes such as decubitus ulcers, malignant tumors, or gangrenous extremities that were heavily contaminated with commensal organisms, and bacteremia appeared to originate from them. Lesions did not have the characteristics of gas gangrene. The bacteremia was manifested by fever and leukocytosis and responded well to appropriate surgical treatment and antibiotics. Four of the 20 patients died within three days of the positive blood culture. Death resulted from the infection in three patients. On five occasions, the blood cultures were positive for multiple organisms. None of the patients died.