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Patients with bacteremia have a high mortality and generally require urgent treatment. The authors conducted a study to describe bacteremic patients in emergency departments (EDs) and to identify risk factors for mortality.Bacteremic patients in EDs were identified retrospectively at a university hospital from January 2007 to December 2007. Demographic characteristics, underlying illness, clinical conditions, microbiology, and the source of bacteremia were collected and analyzed for their association with 28-day mortality.During the study period, 621 cases (50.2% male) were included, with a mean (±SD) age of 62.8 (±17.4) years. The most common underlying disease was diabetes mellitus (39.3%). Escherichia coli (39.2%) was the most frequently isolated pathogen. The most common source of bacteremia was urinary tract infection (41.2%), followed by primary bacteremia (13.2%). The overall 28-day mortality rate was 12.6%. Multivariate stepwise logistic regression analysis showed age > 60 years (odds ratio [OR] = 2.52, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.29 to 4.92, p = 0.007), malignancy (OR = 2.66, 95% CI = 1.44 to 4.91, p = 0.002), liver cirrhosis (OR = 2.08, 95% CI = 1.02 to 4.26, p = 0.044), alcohol use (OR = 5.73, 95% CI = 2.10 to 15.63, p = 0.001), polymicrobial bacteremia (OR = 3.99, 95% CI = 1.75 to 9.10, p = 0.001), anemia (OR = 2.33, 95% CI = 1.34 to 4.03, p = 0.003), and sepsis (OR = 1.94, 95% CI = 1.16 to 3.37, p = 0.019) were independent risk factors for 28-day mortality.Bacteremic patients in the ED have a high mortality, particularly with these risk factors. It is important for physicians to recognize the factors that potentially contribute to mortality of bacteremic patients in the ED.