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This article is part of the supplement: International Conference on Prevention & Infection Control (ICPIC 2011)

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Continous surveillance of bloodstream infections across departments at a Danish University Hospital

RA Leth

  • Correspondence: RA Leth

Author Affiliations

Department of Clinical Micorbiology, Aarhus University Hospital, Skejby, Aarhus N, Denmark

BMC Proceedings 2011, 5(Suppl 6):P64  doi:10.1186/1753-6561-5-S6-P64

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published:29 June 2011

© 2011 Leth; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Introduction / objectives

The rate of bloodstream infections has been monitored monthly since 2004 at Aarhus University Hospital, Skejby. The hospital is a tertiary referral hospital with 400 beds specialising in paediatrics, gynaecology & obstetrics, urology, thoracic and vascular surgery, renal medicine, cardiology, infectious diseases and intensive care.

The aim of this study was to identify variations in bloodstream infection rates across departments.


Monthly all patients with positive blood cultures are monitored concerning true infection or contamination and if the infection is community-or hospital/healthcare-acquired. The bloodstream infection rates are presented as number of episodes per 1000 beddays. The infection rates are sent to each department quarterly followed by staff-meetings. To identify trends in bloodstream infection rates we also perform six-month moving averages.


In the years 2007 - 2010 the total bloodstream infection rates for the hospital were 3.0, 3.1, 2.9, and 2.6 episodes per 1000 beddays. Hospital-acquired infections accounted for 2.2, 2.0, 2.0, and 2.0 episodes per 1000 bed-days. There were great differences in hospital-acquired bloodstream infection rates across departments ranging from 0.5 episodes per 1000 beddays in gynaecology & obstetrics to 5.3 episodes per 1000 beddays in urology in 2010.


The overall rate of hospital-acquired bloodstream infections has remained at the same level in the past four years at our hospital. However, some departments have a high rate constituting a continuous challenge for improvement.

Disclosure of interest

None declared.