Cases & Commentaries
A woman was discharged with instructions to complete a course of antibiotics for C. difficile. The same day, the microbiology laboratory notified the patient's nurse that her blood culture grew Listeria monocytogenes, a bacterium that can cause life-threatening infection. However, the result was not communicated to the medical team prior to discharge. Sarah Doernberg, MD, MAS, of UCSF, explores issues related to communication, interpretation, and management of positive blood culture results as well as best practices for follow-up of blood cultures pending at time of discharge.