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22499 Culture, Blood

Culture, Blood
Test Code: BLD
Synonyms/Keywords
​Blood for Aerobes/Anaerobes, Blood Cultures
Specimen Requirements
Fasting Required Specimen Type Preferred Container/Tube Acceptable Container/Tube Specimen Volume Specimen Minimum Volume
(allows for 1 repeat)
Pediatric Minimum Volume
(no repeat)
​No ​ ​ ​ Blood​
BacT/Alert® FA Plus (aerobic) and FN Plus (anaerobic) culture media
20 mL (10 ml per bottle) 
0.5 mL per BacT/Alert bottle
0.5 mL per BacT/Alert bottle
 
​ ​
​Other commercial blood culture media collected per institutional procedures​
 
​ ​
 
​ ​
Collection Processing Instructions
Venipuncture Collection: 
Prepare the venipuncture site. Identify the vein by palpitation. For patients > two months of age, use a Chloraprep swab with a scrubbing action, passing multiple times over the site. Friction is an important part of the cleansing process for this product. For patients < two months of age, use an alcohol swab and scrub the site in a circular motion. Allow the alcohol to air dry. Use a Betadine sponge and apply using a circular motion. Starting at a central point and working in a circular motion outward. Allow Chloraprep or Betadine to dry for 30-60 seconds. Do not touch the vein again after this step!
 
Venous Access Device Collection: (Refer to your institutional policy)
Obtaining blood for culture from intravascular lines, especially if it is used to administer antimicrobial agents, is discouraged. If it is necessary to collect by IV line, the line must be flushed with an appropriate parenteral fluid by the nursing staff prior to obtaining blood for culture. Collect at least one culture by venipuncture if possible rather than two by catheter. 
 
Draw 20 mL (per culture) of blood using sterile technique. Label bottles/tubes with patient identification. Disinfect the rubber septa of each bottle with a separate alcohol wipe. Allow the septa to air dry, and then inject blood into tube. Do not allow the septa to become contaminated.
 
If using BacT/Alert Fan®Plus bottles:
􀂃 Inoculate 10mL into one FAN-Plus Anaerobic (orange top) and another 10mL into one FAN-Plus Aerobic (green top) bottle. A minimum of 0.5mL per bottle is optimal, but any volume below 10mL will significantly decrease the chances of recovering an organism. Do not overfill bottles.  Avoid covering the barcode label tab on BacT/Alert bottles.
 
Collect 2-3 cultures per episode for maximal sensitivity. Cultures may be drawn at the same time, but should be collected from two different sites before the administration of antibiotics if possible. Ideally, blood should be obtained during the chill or temperature spike. Otherwise, collect blood cultures as close to the precipitating event as possible. Blood is optimally obtained by venipuncture at separate sites. 
 
Note: Yellow top Vacutainer tube containing ACD is unacceptable for blood culture.
 
If BacT/Alert is not available, blood may be submitted in other commercial blood culture media collected per institutional procedures. These cultures will have an analytical time of 7 days.
 
For all blood cultures that are predetermined to be positive, order as IDEN, Blood.​
Specimen Stability Information
Specimen Type Temperature Time
BacT/Alert or Commercial blood culture bottles​ Room Temperature​ <=24 hours​
Rejection Criteria
Coagulated blood specimens​
Contaminated blood specimens​
BacT/Alert bottles that were incubated​
​ Blood in vacutainer tubes (e.g. ACD, EDTA, heparin)
Performing Laboratory Information
Performing Location Day(s) Test Performed Analytical Time Methodology/Instrumentation
Diagnostic Treatment Center​ ​Monday through Sunday​ ​5 days​ ​BacT/Alert​
Eau Claire​ ​Monday through Sunday ​5 days ​BacT/Alert
​Flambeau Hospital ​Monday through Sunday​ ​5 days​ ​BacT/Alert​
​Lakeview Medical Center ​Monday through Sunday​ ​5 days​ ​BacT/Alert​
​Marshfield Monday through Sunday​ 5 days​ BacT/Alert​
MMC-Ladysmith​Monday through Sunday​​​5 days​BacT/Alert​
Test Information
Specimens should be delivered to the microbiology laboratory as soon as possible. Culture of specimens older than 24 hours may lead to a reduction in recovery of microorganisms.
Routine bacterial cultures are held for 5 days.  All positive culture results are called to the Physician. This test is generally satisfactory for the detection of most routinely encountered bacteria and yeasts. For fungemia due to Cryptococcus, Histoplasma, Blastomyces, and filamentous fungi, see Culture, Fungus-Blood. For mycobacterial bacteremia, see Culture, Mycobacteria-Blood. 
 
Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (AST) will be performed on significant bacterial isolates with unpredictable patterns if standardized methods are available based upon Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute guidelines. Methods used include disk diffusion, minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) by broth microdilution, or MIC by Etest®.
 
A listing of the tested and reported antimicrobial agents can be seen at Non-Urine Routine AST panels.
If testing against a specific antimicrobial agent is desired, contact the microbiology laboratory.
 
The microbiology laboratory uses selective reporting of susceptibility results in order to promote rational antimicrobial usage. For more information on selective reporting, please contact the microbiology technical manager. 
 
Standardized AST is not available for all bacterial species, in which case an MIC determined by a non-standardized method and without interpretation may be available upon request. Contact the microbiology laboratory for more information.
 
​'BacT/Alert', 'FAN' and 'E-test' are registered trademarks of bioMerieux Inc. ​
Reference Range Information
Performing Location Reference Range
​All Performing Sites No Growth​
Outreach CPTs
CPT Modifier
(if needed)
Quantity Description Comments
87040​ ​Culture
​87077

​ID, biochemical

​​as needed
​87153 ID by nucleic acid sequencing method ​​as needed
​87147 Serotyping/grouping ​​as needed
​87185 ​Enzyme detection ​​as needed
​87184 ​KB (disk), susceptibility ​​as needed
​87186 ​MIC susceptibility, micro-broth dilution ​​as needed
​87181 ​MIC susceptibility, E-test®, gradient strip ​​as needed
Synonyms/Keywords
​Blood for Aerobes/Anaerobes, Blood Cultures
Ordering Applications
Ordering Application Description
​Centricity ​Cult. Blood
​Cerner ​Blood Culture
​COM ​Culture, Blood
If the ordering application you are looking for is not listed, contact your local laboratory for assistance.
Specimen Requirements
Fasting Required Specimen Type Preferred Container/Tube Acceptable Container/Tube Specimen Volume Specimen Minimum Volume
(allows for 1 repeat)
Pediatric Minimum Volume
(no repeat)
​No ​ ​ ​ Blood​
BacT/Alert® FA Plus (aerobic) and FN Plus (anaerobic) culture media
20 mL (10 ml per bottle) 
0.5 mL per BacT/Alert bottle
0.5 mL per BacT/Alert bottle
 
​ ​
​Other commercial blood culture media collected per institutional procedures​
 
​ ​
 
​ ​
Collection Processing
Venipuncture Collection: 
Prepare the venipuncture site. Identify the vein by palpitation. For patients > two months of age, use a Chloraprep swab with a scrubbing action, passing multiple times over the site. Friction is an important part of the cleansing process for this product. For patients < two months of age, use an alcohol swab and scrub the site in a circular motion. Allow the alcohol to air dry. Use a Betadine sponge and apply using a circular motion. Starting at a central point and working in a circular motion outward. Allow Chloraprep or Betadine to dry for 30-60 seconds. Do not touch the vein again after this step!
 
Venous Access Device Collection: (Refer to your institutional policy)
Obtaining blood for culture from intravascular lines, especially if it is used to administer antimicrobial agents, is discouraged. If it is necessary to collect by IV line, the line must be flushed with an appropriate parenteral fluid by the nursing staff prior to obtaining blood for culture. Collect at least one culture by venipuncture if possible rather than two by catheter. 
 
Draw 20 mL (per culture) of blood using sterile technique. Label bottles/tubes with patient identification. Disinfect the rubber septa of each bottle with a separate alcohol wipe. Allow the septa to air dry, and then inject blood into tube. Do not allow the septa to become contaminated.
 
If using BacT/Alert Fan®Plus bottles:
􀂃 Inoculate 10mL into one FAN-Plus Anaerobic (orange top) and another 10mL into one FAN-Plus Aerobic (green top) bottle. A minimum of 0.5mL per bottle is optimal, but any volume below 10mL will significantly decrease the chances of recovering an organism. Do not overfill bottles.  Avoid covering the barcode label tab on BacT/Alert bottles.
 
Collect 2-3 cultures per episode for maximal sensitivity. Cultures may be drawn at the same time, but should be collected from two different sites before the administration of antibiotics if possible. Ideally, blood should be obtained during the chill or temperature spike. Otherwise, collect blood cultures as close to the precipitating event as possible. Blood is optimally obtained by venipuncture at separate sites. 
 
Note: Yellow top Vacutainer tube containing ACD is unacceptable for blood culture.
 
If BacT/Alert is not available, blood may be submitted in other commercial blood culture media collected per institutional procedures. These cultures will have an analytical time of 7 days.
 
For all blood cultures that are predetermined to be positive, order as IDEN, Blood.​
Specimen Stability Information
Specimen Type Temperature Time
BacT/Alert or Commercial blood culture bottles​ Room Temperature​ <=24 hours​
Rejection Criteria
Coagulated blood specimens​
Contaminated blood specimens​
BacT/Alert bottles that were incubated​
​ Blood in vacutainer tubes (e.g. ACD, EDTA, heparin)
Reference Range Information
Performing Location Reference Range
​All Performing Sites No Growth​
For more information visit:
Performing Laboratory Information
Performing Location Day(s) Test Performed Analytical Time Methodology/Instrumentation
Diagnostic Treatment Center​ ​Monday through Sunday​ ​5 days​ ​BacT/Alert​
Eau Claire​ ​Monday through Sunday ​5 days ​BacT/Alert
​Flambeau Hospital ​Monday through Sunday​ ​5 days​ ​BacT/Alert​
​Lakeview Medical Center ​Monday through Sunday​ ​5 days​ ​BacT/Alert​
​Marshfield Monday through Sunday​ 5 days​ BacT/Alert​
MMC-Ladysmith​Monday through Sunday​​​5 days​BacT/Alert​
For billing questions, see Contacts
Outreach CPTs
CPT Modifier
(if needed)
Quantity Description Comments
87040​ ​Culture
​87077

​ID, biochemical

​​as needed
​87153 ID by nucleic acid sequencing method ​​as needed
​87147 Serotyping/grouping ​​as needed
​87185 ​Enzyme detection ​​as needed
​87184 ​KB (disk), susceptibility ​​as needed
​87186 ​MIC susceptibility, micro-broth dilution ​​as needed
​87181 ​MIC susceptibility, E-test®, gradient strip ​​as needed
For most current information refer to the Marshfield Laboratory online reference manual.