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A blood culture is a diagnostic test performed to detect the presence of bacteria, fungi, or other microorganisms in the bloodstream. It is a crucial tool in diagnosing bloodstream infections (bacteremia or fungemia), sepsis, and other systemic infections.


Collection of blood for blood culture is a sterile procedure. Surgical (scrub) preparation and techniques are used in collection, storage, transport of blood sample


  • To detect the microorganisms
  • To treat the disease condition with correct antibiotics
  • To detect the right antibiotic to kill the particular microorganism
  • When the patient has chills or a temperature hike

General Instructions

  • Special type of culture bottles are used for blood culture sample collection
  • All blood culture bottles should be carefully examined for clarity of media, any medium showing turbidity should not be used
  • Only disposable syringes and needles should be used for collection of blood
  • The top of the bottle must be carefully disinfected (with 70% alcohol) just before the bottle is inoculated
  • Blood should never be taken from an IV line or above the IV line
  • If blood culture bottles are available, blood should be immediately added to the culture medium (broth)
  • If blood culture bottles are not available blood may be transported in a sterile tube containing a sterile anticoagulant solution
  • The amount of blood collected is 10 ml for adult, 2-5 ml for children and 1-2 ml for infants and neonates
  • Blood for culture should be taken before antibiotics are administered

Preliminary Assessment


  • The doctors order for specific instructions
  • General condition and diagnosis of the patient
  • Mental status to follow instruction
  • Self-care ability of the patient
  • Articles available in the unit such as culture bottles, etc

Preparation of the Patient and Environment

  • Explain the procedure to the patient
  • Arrange the articles at the bedside
  • Obtain laboratory request and culture bottles
  • Arrange extra help (if needed any)
  • Label and number the container in order wise


  • Mackintosh and towel
  • Surgical gloves
  • Surgical dressing packs to clean the skin over the vein
  • Surgical spirit and betadine solution
  • Disposable syringe 10 ml with needles
  • Culture bottles – 3
  • Cotton swabs
  • Paper bag and K-basin
  • Tourniquet

Blood Sample Collection for Culture

  1. The area of blood culture sample is cleaned with anti-microbial agent
  2. Tourniquet applied for bleed sample collection and needle inserted
  3. Blood culture sample collected in aseptic technique
  4. Blood culture sample placed in the culture bottle


  • Choose the vein to be drawn by touching the skin before it has been disinfected
  • Cleanse the skin over the venipuncture site in a circle approximately 5 cm in diameter with 70 % alcohol, rubbing vigorously
  • Starting in the center of the circle, apply 2% iodine (or povidone iodine)
  • Allow the iodine to remain on the skin for at least 1 minute
  • Insert the needle into the vein and withdraw blood
  • After the needle has been removed, the site should be cleaned with 70% alcohol again
  • Apply gentle pressure with cotton ball over the punctured site
  • Transfer the blood in the syringe in to the culture bottles

After Care

  • Clean the culture bottle led with spirit swab
  • Insert the needle and pour blood into culture bottle
  • Mix the solution and blood gently by moving sideways
  • Label the culture bottles and send immediately to the laboratories
  • Replace the articles after cleaning
  • Remove the gloves and wash hands thoroughly
  • Record the procedure in the nurse’s record sheet
 BLOOD CULTURE  -  Purpose,  Instructions,  Preliminary Assessment,  Preparation of the Patient and Environment,  Equipment,  Blood Sample Collection for Culture,  Procedure,  After Care
BLOOD CULTURE Purpose, Instructions, Preliminary Assessment, Preparation of the Patient and Environment, Equipment, Blood Sample Collection for Culture, Procedure, After Care


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