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Table 2 Relative frequency of diagnostic information for patients started on antibiotics in medicine, and surgery (normal ranges are those defined in the local laboratory)

From: Antibiotic prescribing in general medical and surgical specialties: a prospective cohort study

Diagnostic Information Total 326 n (%) Medicine 162 n (%) Surgery 164 n (%)
White Cell Count
 Normal (4.2–11.2 × 109/L) 128 (39.3) 76 (47.0) 52 (31.7)
 Abnormal 197 (60.4) 86 (53.0) 111 (68.1)
 No Data 1 (0.3) 0 1 (0.6)
Body Temperature
 Normal (36.5–37.5 °C) 168 (51.5) 70 (43.2) 98 (60.0)
 Abnormal 157 (48.2) 91 (56.2) 66 (40.0)
 No Data 1 (0.3) 1 (0.6) 0
Body temperature and White Cell Count
 Normal 64 (19.4) 32 (19.4) 32 (19.4)
 Abnormal 260 (80.0) 129 (80.0) 131(80.0)
 No Data 2 (0.6) 1 (0.6) 1 (0.6)
C-reactive Protein
 Normal (< 6 mg/L) 17 (5.2) 11 (7.0) 6 (3.7)
 Abnormal (> 6 mg/L) 308 (94.5) 151 (93.0) 157 (95.7)
 No Data 1 (0.3) 0 1 (0.6)
Chest X-ray at start of antibiotic
 Yes 154 (47.0) 90 (55.6) 64 (39.0)
 No 172 (53.0) 72 (44.4) 100 (61.0)
Sign of infection on chest X-ray
 Yes 53 (16.0) 36 (22.0) 17 (10.0)
 No 101 (31.0) 54 (33.3) 47 (29.0)
 No imaging 172 (53.0) 72 (44.4) 100 (61.0)
Microbiological culture collected before antibiotic initiation
 Yes 90 (27.6) 42 (26.0) 48 (29.0)
 No 236 (72.4) 120 (74.0) 116 (71.0)
The result of microbiological culture collected before antibiotic initiation
 No growth (negative culture) 44 (13.5) 19 (11.7) 25 (15.0)
 Pathogen grown (positive culture) 46 (14.1) 23 (14.2) 23 (14.0)
 No Culture 236 (72.4) 120 (74.1) 116 (71.0)