Three coses of paraplegic patients with Bacteroides bacteremia from decubitus ulcers are reported. Each patient was suspected of having another organism and another source of infection. Each patient was treated initially and unsuccessfully with antibiotics normally useful for aerobic gram-negative infections. Two patients had foul-smelling pus draining from the decubitus ulcers; two had similar organisms isolated from blood and decubitus ulcer pus. All patients responded to appropriate treatment for Bacteroides and survived. Bacteroides bacteremia should be considered in all febrile patients with decubitus ulcers. Failure of patients to respond to conventional antibiotic therapy and the presence of foul-smelling decubitus ulcer pus are additional clinical clues.
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