Rapid Identification of Microorganisms by FilmArray Blood Culture Identification Panel Improves Clinical Management in Children

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Blood cultures are a common investigation for children admitted to hospital. In routine practice, it takes at least 24 hours to identify an organism as a contaminant or clinically significant. FilmArray Blood Culture Identification Panel (FA-BCIP) is a multiplex polymerase chain reaction that can detect 24 pathogens within 1 hour. We assessed whether results from FA-BCIP lead to changes in clinical management in a tertiary referral paediatric hospital.


We prospectively studied children having blood cultures taken at our tertiary children’s hospital. Blood cultures were monitored and organisms identified using standard methods. FA-BCIP was performed when growth was initially detected in first positive blood cultures per episode, between January 1 and June 30, 2014. Assessment of whether the FA-BCIP result altered clinical management was made, specifically focused on antimicrobial stewardship and length of stay.


FA-BCIP was done on 117 positive blood cultures; 74 (63%) grew clinically significant organisms, 43 (37%) grew contaminants. FA-BCIP results were judged to alter clinical management in 63 of the 117 episodes (54%). Antimicrobials were started/altered in 23 (19%) episodes and de-escalated/withheld/stopped in 29 (25%) episodes. Ten children were discharged from hospital earlier, which saved a cumulative total of 14 bed days.


Rapid identification of microorganisms in pediatric blood cultures by FA-BCIP, led to changes in clinical management for half of the episodes. This improved antimicrobial stewardship and allowed early discharge from hospital for 10% of children. Future studies should focus on how best to use this technology in a cost-effective manner.

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