Objective: Stenotrophomonas maltophilia is an important nosocomial pathogen and a therapeutic challenge. A ten-year review of episodes of bacteraemia due to S. maltophilia was undertaken in light of reports of an increasing frequency of infection. Methods: A retrospective analysis of bloodstream infections due to S. maltophilia at a tertiary care hospital in Melbourne, Australia. Cases were identified via microbiology laboratory reports, and relevant clinical data were collected from the medical record of each patient. Results: Eighty per cent of these 45 episodes were nosocomial. The most common characteristics in cases of bacteraemia were the presence of an indwelling central venous catheter (CVC) (38/45, 84%) and previous antibiotic therapy (33/45, 73%). There were 8 deaths (8/44, 18%) within 7 days of bacteraemia. A significant correlation was found between deaths and a failure to remove the CVC (P=0.01) or treat with appropriate antimicrobials (P=0.01). Antibiotic susceptibility testing revealed that isolates were most sensitive to sulphamethoxazole (80%), chloramphenicol (75.5%) and ceftazidime (64.5%). Conclusions: S. maltophilia is an important pathogen especially in the highly compromised host. Isolation of this organism from a blood culture should prompt a careful review of the patient with particular emphasis on removal of indwelling CVCs and commencement of appropriate antibiotic therapy.