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The Pediatric Forum |

Use of Respiratory Syncytial Virus Testing Could Safely Eliminate Many Sepsis Evaluations

Juli A. Antonow, MD, MHA; Carrie L. Byington, MD
Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1999;153(12):1309-1310. doi:.
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We read with interest the article by Liebelt et al1 in which they demonstrated variation in the performance of testing for serious bacterial infection (SBI) in young infants with bronchiolitis evaluated in their emergency department (ED). We noticed an inaccurate statistic quoted from our study2 and wish to clarify as well as make additional comments.

Our study of 282 hospitalized infants aged 60 days or younger with bronchiolitis included 140 with sepsis evaluations performed (which we defined as cultures of blood, urine, and cerebrospinal fluid with initiation of parenteral antibiotics). There were 5 infants with SBI. Even though 142 infants did not have cultures obtained, they were observed in the hospital an average of 3.4 days; review of their medical records did not reveal undetected SBI or readmissions for missed SBI. We included them in the denominator for an SBI rate of 1.8% (5/282).

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