Predictors and Outcomes of Antibiotic Adequacy for Bloodstream Infections in Veterans With Spinal Cord Injury

Charlesnika T Evans*, Stephen P. Burns, Amy Chin, Frances M. Weaver, Ronald C. Hershow

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Evans CT, Burns SP, Chin A, Weaver FM, Hershow RC. Predictors and outcomes of antibiotic adequacy for bloodstream infections in veterans with spinal cord injury. Objective: To identify predictors and outcomes associated with receiving inadequate empirical antimicrobial treatment for bloodstream infections (BSIs) in persons with spinal cord injury (SCI). Design: Retrospective cohort study from October 1, 1997, through September 30, 2004. Setting: A Department of Veterans Affairs SCI center that serves approximately 700 patients a year. Participants: Hospitalized patients with SCI (N=123) who had 1 or more BSIs during the study period. Interventions: Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures: Adequacy of antimicrobial treatment (inadequate treatment was defined as the absence of antimicrobial agents for a particular organism within 2 days after the collection of blood cultures and/or the microorganism's resistance to the antimicrobial administered), hospital length of stay (LOS) post-BSI infection, and in-hospital and 30-day mortality. Cluster-adjusted multivariable models were assessed. Results: Over one third (88; 37.4%) of the 235 episodes of BSI identified received inadequate empirical antibiotic treatment. Having a polymicrobial BSI was associated with inadequate treatment (odds ratio [OR]=3.28; 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.62-6.65; P=.001). Factors protective against inadequate therapy included having a comorbid pressure ulcer (OR=0.37; 95% CI=0.21-0.68; P=.001) or a BSI that was not primary (OR=0.30; 95% CI=0.15-0.58; P<.0001). Mortality did not differ between the inadequate and adequate treatment groups (11.4% vs 10.9%; P=.92). Similarly LOS postinfection was not affected by treatment status (inadequate treatment median=22d vs adequate treatment median=27d; P=.98). Conclusions: Over one third of patients received inadequate empirical treatment, which was associated with having a polymicrobial BSI. However, inadequate treatment was not associated with increased mortality or LOS postinfection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1364-1370
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of physical medicine and rehabilitation
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2009


  • Bacteremia
  • Drug resistance
  • Drug therapy
  • Rehabilitation
  • Spinal cord injuries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation

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