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Bloodstream pathogens

from Clinical Laboratory News (May 2011 issue)

Every year in the U. S., 350,000 patients acquire bloodstream infections while in the hospital, resulting in more than 90,000 deaths and significant costs to the healthcare system. Rapidly detecting and identifying the infectious pathogens is therefore critical for favorable patient outcomes. However, blood culture, the gold standard for diagnosis of bloodstream infections, often takes several days. Consequently, clinicians typically treat suspected bloodstream infections with broad-spectrum antibiotics while waiting for the patient's blood culture results, a practice that, while necessary, has other undesirable effects. more

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