Interpretation of Significance

Several common blood isolates are almost always significant: Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, and other members of the family Enterobacteriaceae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Candida albicans. In contrast, common skin organisms, such as coagulase-negative staphylococci (CoNS), Coryneform bacilli, alpha-hemolytic streptococci, and Propionibacterium acne, are frequent contaminants. However, with many patients carrying an intravascular device that is prone to colonization and infection, each positive culture entails clinical correlation with other findings and sound judgment to make final assessment (Mirrett et al., 2001; Weinstein, 2003).

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