Blood culture collection

To help assure result validity, the following collection procedure must be observed:

  • Cleanse the venipuncture site with a 70% alcohol swab.
  • Wipe the site with iodine by starting at the center and working outward with a circular motion. (Note: If the patient is allergic to iodine, use an additional clean alcohol swab in place of the iodine swab).
  • Allow the site to air dry for at least one minute before venipuncture.
  • Clean the top of the rubber stopper on the blood culture bottle with alcohol.
  • A syringe must be used for collection. After collection, inject blood into blood culture bottles.
    • Use one VersaTREK Redox 1 bottle (aerobic, silver-top, inoculate with  5 mL) and one VersaTREK Redox 2 bottle (anaerobic, red-top, inoculate with 5 mL). The minimum amount of blood for each bottle is 0.5 mL. If 1 mL or less of blood is obtained, place the entire amount into the silver-top (aerobic) bottle. If more than 1 mL but less than 10 mL is obtained, split the volume equally between the two bottles.  
    • Blood culture bottles are available upon request from the Supply Department.
  • Label each vial with the patient's full name (first and last), date of birth, date of collection, time of collection, and specific body site (e.g., right arm).