Blood Culture

  1. One set of BACTEC Culture Bottles (1 aerobic and 1 anaerobic) are used for each Blood Culture ordered.
  2. Current guidelines recommend 2-3 sets be collected for optimal detection of bacteremia.

  1. Cleanse all sites (e.g., venipuncture and access sites: arterial port from blood line, arterial line from fistula needles and catheter port) for 30 seconds with a 70% Alcohol Prep Pad and another 30 seconds with iodine (e.g., Betadine) or chlorhexidine.
    • Note: Adequate disinfection minimizes contamination from skin and environmental organisms.
  2. Remove flip-off dust caps from BACTEC Culture Bottles and disinfect rubber bottle tops with a 70% Alcohol Prep Pad, immediately before inoculating and allow to dry.
    • CAUTION: Do not use any form of iodine to disinfect the tops of the bottles. It may affect the integrity of the rubber top of the culture bottle, causing false positive results.
  3. Push and hold Vacutainer holder over the top of the aerobic BACTEC Culture Bottle to puncture septum. Allow the bottle to automatically fill until 8-10 mL collects.
    • CAUTION: Do not overfill or underfill BACTEC bottles, as this may reduce sensitivity and adversely affect recovery of microorganisms.

  1. Remove the aerobic BACTEC Culture Bottle from the holder.
  2. Insert the top of the anaerobic BACTEC Culture Bottle into the holder (you may use the same holder). Allow the bottle to automatically fill until 8-10 mL collects.

  1. Remove and discard the holder.
  2. Use the barcode labels with patient’s name and ID to identify each BACTEC Culture Bottle. Label each set with a separate order number.
    • CAUTION: Do NOT place the patient’s bar code label over the bottle’s bar code label.
  3. Place in a transport bag.
  4. Hold at room temperature.
  5. Specimens are stable for 48 hours after collection.