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Serious bacterial bloodstream infections 

Serious bacterial bloodstream infections
Serious bacterial bloodstream infections

Peter Davey

, Mark Wilcox

, William Irving

, and Guy Thwaites

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date: 06 May 2021

Bloodstream infections are usually secondary to infection at another body site. Early recognition and assessment of severity of sepsis are vital to reducing mortality. Responsibility often falls on junior members of clinical teams, who must be able to differentiate between sepsis, severe sepsis, and septic shock, and implement the ‘Sepsis Six’: (1) administer high-flow oxygen; (2) take blood cultures; (3) give broad spectrum antibiotics; (4) give intravenous fluid challenges; (5) measure serum lactate and haemoglobin; and (6) measure accurate hourly urine output. In patients with Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia, identification of a source is associated with reduced mortality. All patients should receive at least two weeks of intravenous antibacterial therapy. Infective endocarditis is a serious life-threatening infection of the heart valves (native or prosthetic) and adjacent endocardium. All prescribers should be aware of criteria for appropriate empirical antibacterial treatment but management of patients requires multiprofessional specialist input.

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