Blood Culture Bottles

A blood culture is done when a person has symptoms of a blood infection or bacteremia. Blood is withdrawn from the person and is then tested in a laboratory to find and identify any microorganism present and growing in the blood. This allows the physician to prescribe antibiotics if a microorganism is found.

Blood is drawn from a person and put directly into a blood culture bottle containing a nutritional broth. Ten ml of blood is usually needed for each blood culture bottle. The clinician locates a suitable vein. The area of skin where the blood will be drawn must be disinfected to prevent any microorganisms on a person's skin from entering the blood culture bottle and contaminating it. After the person's skin has been disinfected, the healthcare worker draws the blood and about 10 ml of blood is injected into each blood culture bottle. Some culture bottles allows clinicians to use safety needled products in transferring the blood.

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