A 10-minute diagnosis can prevent hospital admission

South LondonInfection
Start Date: 1 May 2017 End Date: 30 Nov 2019

What contributes to the development of blood stream infections caused by Gram negative bacteria while people are in hospital?

The CLAHRC South London infection research team is investigating what factors put people at risk of developing a bloodstream infection  – and whether any of those factors can be modified to help reduce the risk.

The researchers also want to find out more about the care of patients who develop a Gram negative infection. 'How long does it take for the results of diagnostic tests to come back, and how quickly are patients prescribed the right treatment?,' says Professor Mike Sharland, one of the senior researchers in CLAHRC South London's infection research team.

'We want to evaluate the role of the microbiology laboratory and systems used to communicate the results of tests, and find out what prescription decisions doctors are taking.'

The research team is identifying patients who have a blood stream infection caused by GN bacteria at Guy's, St Thomas', St George's and King's College Hospitals. Each hospital has a system that tracks infections, so identification is relatively straightforward, says Professor Sharland.

Information from each patient's medical notes is being anonymised and inputted into a newly created database that will allow researchers to search for similarities and differences in care, and help identify areas for improvement. The information collected includes the use of catheters and lines, length of stay in hospital and treatment history.

So far, more than 430 patients have been added to the new research database. Some of them have already been treated and discharged; some of them are/were patients on paediatric wards. 

The research team aims to collect the details of 500 patients by the end of 2015.

Gram negative bacteria E.coli is the most common cause of bloodstream infection in England. Between 2010 and 2013 in England, bloodstream infections caused by E.coli increased by 12 per cent. (1)

Professor Jonathan Edgeworth