Phlebotomy Top Gun
To answer the question I reviewed relevant data and evidence linking timing of blood cultures to yield or success. First of all some definitions. One culture equals one venipuncture for collection of blood. Blood cultures are usually collected in sets or pairs, meaning two or more separate venipunctures to collect one set of cultures.
Why do we generally perform two sticks to obtain blood cultures? In terms of yield, that is the chance that a septic or bactermic patient will have a positive blood culture, the number of sticks is not important. Overall volume cultured is the major factor that influences yield. However occasionally blood cultures can be contaminated with skin flora, making interpretation and treatment difficult. Comparing results between blood culture collections performed from separate venipunctures allows clinicians to determine whether contamination with skin flora may be responsible for a single positive blood culture.
Blood Culture Definitions
Jump to section: