Bloodstream infections in older patients

Dafna Yahav*, Noa Eliakim-Raz, Leonard Leibovici, Mical Paul

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


ABSTRACT: Bloodstream infections (BSIs) are both common and fatal in older patients. We describe data from studies evaluating older patients hospitalized with BSIs. Most older patients with BSIs present “typically” with either fever or leukocytosis. The most common source of BSI in older patients is the urinary tract, and accordingly, Gram-negative organisms predominate. A significant part of these BSIs may thus be preventable by removal of unnecessary urinary catheters. Increased long term mortality is reported following BSIs in older patients, however, data on other long-term outcomes, including functional capacity, cognitive decline and others are lacking. Management of BSIs may include less invasive procedures due to the fragility of older patients. This approach may delay the diagnosis and treatment in some cases. Older patients are probably under-represented in clinical trials assessing treatment of bacteremia. Physicians treating older patients should consider the relevance of these studies' outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-352
Number of pages12
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2 Apr 2016


  • bacteremia
  • bloodstream infections
  • elderly
  • older


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