• From 1979 to 1982, the four years of this study, episodes of gram-negative bacillary bacteremia occurred in a 489-bed community teaching hospital—an increase of 15.9%. Mortality related to bacteremia was 19.4% overall and only 3.2% for the 158 episodes involving nonfatal underlying illnesses, lower figures than those reported in the past. The severity of underlying illnesses in bacteremic patients dominated all other clinical variables that were studied as prognostic factors for the outcome of the episode. The same bacteremia-related mortality was seen in patients who had empirically received (1) multiple-antibiotic regimens in which one or more drugs were active against the pathogenic organism(s), (2) either an appropriate aminoglycoside or βlactam antibiotic alone, or (3) both an aminoglycoside antibiotic and a β-lactam antibiotic active against the pathogenic organism(s).
(Arch Intern Med 1985;145:1212-1216)