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December 1977

Bacteremia in the Hospitalized Patient: A Focus for Infection Control

Author Affiliations

Emory University School of Medicine Atlanta

Arch Intern Med. 1977;137(12):1670. doi:10.1001/archinte.1977.03630240006004

For at least two reasons, bacteremia fascinates clinicians, microbiologists, and epidemiologists. First, the presence of microorganisms in the bloodstream frequently is a manifestation of severe infection, often indicating such a poor prognosis for affected patients that new information on prevention and treatment is always welcome. Second, determining the presence of bacteremic infection and identifying the etiologic agent are more straightforward processes than attempting to make similar discoveries for infections such as pneumonia, for which the definition of infection and of likely origin can be discussed, and even disputed, at some length.1.2

As a result, the epidemiology and clinical features of bacteremic infections have been studied intensively for many years, and these investigations frequently have provided initial descriptions of the clinical characteristics associated with severe infection caused by specific microorganisms. For example, studies of bacteremia with Gram-negative aerobic bacilli have served to direct our attention to infection with these agents.

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