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November 1983

Bacteremia Associated With Decubitus Ulcers

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, University of South Carolina School of Medicine (Dr Bryan), Richland Memorial Hospital (Dr Reynolds), and the South Carolina Baptist Medical Center (Mr Dew), Columbia.

Arch Intern Med. 1983;143(11):2093-2095. doi:10.1001/archinte.1983.00350110079019

• We studied 104 episodes of bacteremia in 102 patients with decubitus ulcers observed over five years in the hospitals of one metropolitan area. The ulcers were considered to be the "probable" source of bacteremia in 49% of episodes. Another site of infection was documented in 86% of patients. Proteus mirabilis, Staphylococcus aureus, and Escherichia coli were the most frequent blood isolates in these patients, but only Bacteroides species correlated with "probable" origin of bacteremia from the ulcers. The overall mortality was 55%, with 51% of deaths being attributed to infection. These findings emphasize the importance of decubitus ulcers as potential sources of bacteremia in hospitalized patients.

(Arch Intern Med 1983;143:2093-2095)