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Volume 48, Number 6, December 2015

Occult Klebsiella pneumoniae bacteremia at emergency department: A single center experience 

Eileen Kevyn Chang, Kai-Liang Kao, Mao-Song Tsai, Chia-Jui Yang, Yu-Tsung Huang, Chia-Ying Liu, Chun-Hsing Liao

Received: April 30, 2015    Revised: August 23, 2015    Accepted: August 31, 2015   


Corresponding author:

Chun-Hsing Liao
Corresponding author. Department of Internal Medicine, Far Eastern Memorial Hospital, 21 Nan-Ya South Road, Section 2, Banchiao, New Taipei City, Taiwan. 


Background and purpose: 

Patients with undetected bacteremia when discharged from a hospital are considered to have occult bacteremia. Klebsiella pneumoniae bacteremia (KPB) is endemic to Taiwan. Our purpose was to study the impact of occult KPB. 



We retrospectively reviewed the records of patients who were discharged from our emergency department (ED) and subsequently diagnosed with KPB (occult bacteremia), from January 2008 to March 2014. All patients are followed for at least 3 months after the index ED visit. The study group was compared to KPB patients who were directly hospitalized (DH) from ED in 2008. Thirty-day mortality was the primary endpoint.



A total of 913 patients were admitted to our ED with KPB, and 88 of these patients (9.6%) had occult KPB. Among them, 43 had second ED visit and 41 were admitted. The overall 30-day mortality was 2.3%. Relative to patients with occult KPB, DH patients had more respiratory tract infections (p < 0.001) but fewer other intra-abdominal infections (p = 0.015). Liver abscess was the major diagnosis for the second ED visit (37.2%). DH patients had significantly greater 30-day mortality than that of overall patients with KPB (19.2% vs.2.3%, p < 0.001). 



Most patients with occult KPB had favorable outcomes, but about half of them required a second ED visit. Clinicians should aggressively follow patients with occult KPB and should seek to identify the focus of infection in this endemic area. 


Key words:

emergency department, Klebsiella pneumoniae, occult bacteremia