Bloodstream infections and setting of onset in persons with spinal cord injury and disorder

C. T. Evans, R. C. Hershow, A. Chin, P. R. Foulis, S. P. Burns, F. M. Weaver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Study Design: A retrospective cohort study. Objective: Health-care- associated (HCA) bloodstream infection (BSI) has been shown to be a distinct epidemiologic category in the general adult population, but few studies have examined specific patient populations. The objective of this study was to assess characteristics associated with BSI that occurred in the hospital (hospital-acquired, HA BSI), from health-care contact outside the hospital (HCA BSI) or in the community (community-acquired, CA BSI) in veterans with spinal cord injury and disorder (SCI&D). Setting: Two United States Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals. Methods: All patients with SCI&D with a positive blood culture admitted to study hospitals over a 7-year period (1 October 1997 to 30 September 2004). Demographics, medical characteristics and causative organisms were collected. Results: Four hundred and thirteen episodes of BSI occurred in 226 patients, with a rate of 7.2 BSI episodes per 100 admissions: 267 (64.7%) were HA BSI, 110 (26.6%) were HCA BSI and 36 (8.7%) were CA BSI. Antibiotic resistance was more common in those with HA BSI (65.5%) compared with that in those with HCA (49.1%, P=0.001) and CA BSI (22.2%, P<0.0001). Methicillin resistance in Staphylococcus aureus was highly prevalent; HA BSI (84.5%), HCA BSI (60.6%) and CA BSI (33.3%). Conclusion: HCA BSI comprises one-quarter of all BSIs in hospitalized patients with SCI&D. Although those with HCA and CA BSI share similarities, several differences in medical characteristics and causal microorganism are noted. Treatment and management strategies for HCA and CA infections need to vary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)610-615
Number of pages6
JournalSpinal Cord
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2009


  • Bacteremia
  • Health care
  • Spinal cord injuries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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