How are positive culture results handled in the emergent management of pediatric patients with fever?

Updated: Jul 23, 2019
  • Author: Hina Z Ghory, MD; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

To ensure the quality of care, an ED policy should be established for positive culture results requiring a call back to the care provider or to the patient.

For a positive cerebrospinal fluid culture, a patient who was sent home should return to the hospital for intravenous antibiotics until identification of the organism is confirmed. Many EDs routinely admit all patients receiving lumbar puncture in the ED.

For a positive blood culture, the patient should be reevaluated by a physician. An afebrile patient who is doing well may be treated on an outpatient basis after infection with penicillinase-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae is considered. A repeat blood culture is indicated in most cases.

For a positive urine culture, the patient may be treated on an outpatient basis, with follow-up care and repeated cultures to prove effective treatment. [125]


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