Clostridial Bacteremia Without Hemolysis

Howard K. Rathbun, MD
Arch Intern Med. 1968;122(6):496-501. doi:10.1001/archinte.1968.00300100030007.
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Clostridial bacteremia without hemolysis occurred in 20 patients with serious chronic diseases and in patients with postabortal and postpartum sepsis. The underlying chronic disease was the cause of ulcerated or necrotic processes such as decubitus ulcers, malignant tumors, or gangrenous extremities that were heavily contaminated with commensal organisms, and bacteremia appeared to originate from them. Lesions did not have the characteristics of gas gangrene. The bacteremia was manifested by fever and leukocytosis and responded well to appropriate surgical treatment and antibiotics. Four of the 20 patients died within three days of the positive blood culture. Death resulted from the infection in three patients. On five occasions, the blood cultures were positive for multiple organisms. None of the patients died.


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