A SAB or two, a retrospective review. Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne

Ms Kareena Johnson1, Ms Sue Scott1, Ms Jane Tomlinson1, Ms Greta Van Kerkwijk1, Associate Professor Andrew Daley1, Ms Kate O’Donaghue1

1The Royal Children’s Hospital, Parkville, Australia


Staphylococcus aureus is one of the most common causes of healthcare-associated bloodstream infections. The epidemiology in paediatric patients is lesser known in comparison to adult patients. Research in adult populations has shown a correlation between poor compliance to hand hygiene and the incidence of Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia (SAB). In our paediatric hospital with consistently high rates of compliance to hand hygiene and ongoing high rates of SAB, further research is needed to identify associated risks.


We performed a retrospective study of healthcare associated SABs identified at our hospital over five years to investigate the incidence, outline risk factors associated and identify anomalies in paediatric patients.


Notable risk factors identified were increasing numbers of central venous access devices including those managed at home, patient demographics such as treatment group and age, patients with multiple invasive devices and recent surgical procedures. Analysis of the cases showed no evidence of relatedness. Whole genome sequencing was performed on a subset of cases which supported this analysis. The majority of SAB cases were related to central lines, however, central line associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) rates have decreased over time. Despite higher rates of infection compared to other facilities, the case fatality rate was zero. Increases in length of stay and treatment requirements were identified as a common outcome.


This study has identified a number of risk factors associated with infection and the differences identified in the paediatric population. A number of interventions have commenced to improve practices and reduce these infections.


Kareena has been working as a Clinical Nurse Consultant in Infection Prevention and Control at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne since 2016. She has a background in paediatric nursing and has completed a Masters in Infectious Diseases Intelligence through the University of New South Wales. Kareena’s interests include outbreak investigation, vaccine preventable diseases and prevention of Healthcare Associated Infections.

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