CLINICAL DO'S & DON'TS: Drawing blood culture specimens for reliable results

December 2004 
Volume 34  Number 12
Pages 20 - 20
  PDF Version Available!




  • Figure. Clean the st...

  • Figure. Perform veni...

    BLOOD CULTURES help identify bacterial pathogens and appropriate antibiotics to combat an infection. Meticulous site preparation and collection technique prevent misleading findings.


    * Check the order. If other blood tests or antibiotics are ordered, collect blood culture specimens before other specimens and before the patient starts antibiotic therapy.

    * Take a patient history regarding fever and current or recent antibiotic therapy. If he's currently receiving antibiotics, select culture bottles that are treated to neutralize antibiotics in the blood sample.

    * Wash your hands, gather the necessary equipment at the bedside, and put on clean gloves.

    * Explain the procedure to the patient and select an appropriate vein, avoiding sites above an I.V. line. Follow facility policy ...

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