Research shows blood cultures performed on children with skin infections largely ineffective

The majority of blood cultures performed on children with common skin and soft tissue infections are unnecessary, according to a new article by co-authors, Eric Zwemer, MD, and John R. Stephens, MD, of the Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicines.

Research shows blood cultures performed on children with skin infections largely ineffective click to enlarge Drs. Zwemer and Stephens (L-R) at UNC Children’s

The majority of blood cultures performed on children with common skin and soft tissue infections are unnecessary, according to a new article by researchers in the Department of Pediatrics. The article, “Blood Cultures for Uncomplicated Skin and Soft Tissue Infections of Children” was written as part of the journal’s ongoing series, “Things We Do For No Reason,” which examines practices in hospital care that, while commonplace, may provide little value to patients.

The co-authors, Eric Zwemer, M.D., and John R. Stephens, M.D. of the Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, reviewed several retrospective studies of children who presented with skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs). They found that blood cultures are commonly ordered in children presenting with uncomplicated skin and soft tissue infections, despite a failure to demonstrate benefits.

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