Epidemiology and management of candidaemia – a retrospective, multicentre study in five hospitals in the UK

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SummaryCandidaemia is associated with high mortality. Despite the fact that Candida species account for close to 10% of all nosocomial bloodstream infections, relatively few studies have investigated the management of candidaemia in hospitals. Our objective was to find out how candidaemia is managed in hospitals. Data relating to all episodes of candidaemia for the year 2008 were retrospectively collected in five centres in Scotland and Wales. A total of 96 candidaemic episodes were recorded in the year 2008, yielding 103 isolates of Candida. Fifty candidaemic episodes were caused by Candida albicans. Fluconazole was the most common agent prescribed for the treatment of candidaemia. There was great variation in the prescribed dose of fluconazole. Forty per cent of patients who survived received <2 weeks of systemic antifungal therapy. Central venous catheters (CVC) were removed in 57% of patients. CVC removal was not associated with better survival. The overall mortality was 40.4%. Management of candidaemia varies between the UK centres and is often inadequate. There is need to have consensus on the dosages of antifungal agents and the duration of therapy. The current guidance on removal of CVC in all cases of candidaemia should be reviewed.

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