Laboratory Test Information Guide

Details for Blood Culture – Aerobic/Anaerobic (Adult)

Test Name: Blood Culture – Aerobic/Anaerobic (Adult)
Alternate Name(s):  
Laboratory: Microbiology
Specimen Type: Blood
Collection Information: Collection Information: This sample type cannot be processed as a STAT request. Results are reported as they become available.

Blood cultures should be collected on each patient based on the clinical suspicion of a septic episode. Two sets of blood cultures from separate venipuncture sites, drawn within a 24-hour period and prior to antibiotic therapy, are recommended. If endocarditis is suspected, collect a third set.

Blood sampling volumes
8-10 mL blood per bottle

For patients weighing less than 35 kg, please refer to “Blood Volume Requirements for Paediatric Blood Culture Collections”

Collection procedures:

Blood Culture collection procedure – Aerobic/Anaerobic (Adult)
Blood culture collection procedure – Paediatric, Venipuncture
Blood culture collection procedure - Central Venous Access Device

Catheter associated bacteremia (CAB)
If catheter associated bacteremia (CAB) is being investigated, collect a set of blood cultures through the central line and a concurrent set of peripheral blood cultures.

Indicate "CAB INVESTIGATION" in “Specimen Description” on the orders screen and specify site of each collection. An absolutely accurate collect date and time must be entered on the order. All sets of blood cultures need to be submitted to the lab at the same time, multiple bags can be fastened together, with a “CAB INVESTIGATION” label attached.

Blood cultures for Candida species
No additional procedures are required for the routine isolation of Candida species from the blood.

Blood cultures for the fungal organisms Histoplasma capsulatum, and Blastomyces dermatitidis
Please refer to Laboratory Test Information Guide: Blood culture - Malassezia species, Histoplasma capsulatum, and Blastomyces dermatitidis.

Test Schedule: Daily
Turnaround time from when specimen
is received in testing laboratory:
5 days – positive findings are available within 1 hour of discovery. Negative cultures at 24 hours
Reference Range: 5 days – positive findings are available within 1 hour of discovery.

Negative cultures at 24 hours will be routinely updated with the comment “No growth 1 day”
Effective Date: 2018-04-09
Revised Date: 2020-10-16
Critical Value:  
Interpretive Comments:  
Special Processing:  
Method of Analysis: Continuous monitoring blood culture system
Critical Information Required:  
Storage & Shipment: Transport bottle to the lab promptly; all bottles must be received within 24 hours of collection.

If there is a delay in transport, bottles can be left at room temperature. Never refrigerate.
System Codes: 
Referred To:  

Questions? Comments? Contact Laura Gopaul