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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 55  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 201-203

Quality assurance in blood culture: A retrospective study of blood culture contamination rate in a tertiary hospital in Nigeria

Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, National Hospital Abuja, Abuja, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Iregbu Iregbu Chukwuemeka
Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, National Hospital, Plot 132, Central Business District (Phase II), PMB 425, Garki, Abuja - 900 001
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0300-1652.132038

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Background: Blood culture is a critical tool for diagnosing septicaemia. Quite frequently, contamination of blood sample poses a great challenge to accurate diagnosis. This study evaluated the rate of blood culture contamination in our hospital over a one-year period. Materials and Methods: It was a retrospective study of 1032 blood cultures carried out in a clinical laboratory of a tertiary hospital in North Central part of Nigeria between 2010 and 2011. Results: There were 730 blood cultures from paediatric and 302 adult patients. The overall yield was 22%; 107 out of the 730 were contaminated giving a contamination rate of 10.4%. Contamination rate was higher in children than in adult (11% vs 8%) specimen. These rates were much higher than the acceptable benchmark of 2-3%. The main contaminants were coagulase negative Staphylococcus, Bacillus species, Diphtheroids and Enterococcus species. Conclusion: Contamination rate is high, and mainly due to normal skin flora, suggesting aseptic collection challenges as the main cause. We recommend a review of the entire process of blood collection for culture and analysis with a view to instituting appropriate quality assurance measures to reduce the contamination rate.

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