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Important Note

Deliver to the lab immediately.
A single culture should not be ordered.

Additional Codes

Primary ID Epic Code Mayo Access ID
BRC LAB2516 FAH5264


Specimen Information

Container Specimen Temperature Collect Vol Submit Vol Min Vol Stability
Blood Culture, Adult Whole Blood Ambient 20 mL 20 mL 10 mL *
Blood Culture, Pedi Whole Blood Ambient 4 mL 4 mL 0.5 mL *
Bone Marrow Culture Tube (SPS) Bone Marrow Refrigerate 3 mL 3 mL 1 mL *

*Deliver to the lab immediately.

Collection of Blood Cultures

Order Bacterial Culture, Blood. A separate specimen is collected into a Bone Marrow Culture Tube stored at ambient temperature. The stopper should be well sterilized first with betadine and then alcohol first before injection. Approximately 1 mL of bone marrow should be injected through the rubber stopper. If the specimen is clotted, remove stopper and place the clotted specimen directly into the culture tube. Use caution to avoid contamination.

  1. Draw two sets of blood cultures with two separate venipunctures. Cultures should be collected before the administration of antimicrobial therapy if possible. 
  2. Remove the dust caps from the blood culture bottles. Clean the rubber stoppers with 70% alcohol and allow the alcohol to dry. Choose the venipuncture site carefully. Avoid close proximity to previous puncture sites. Do not enter through an area that shows signs of possible infection such as swelling, redness, hardness, or heat because organisms may already be established in the subcutaneous tissue, which could contaminate the blood cultures.
  3. Clean the venipuncture site using a Blood Culture ChloroPrep Kit.  Squeeze the handle of the scrubber once to release the isopropyl alcohol.  Use the scrubber to vigorously cleanse the site for 30 seconds and then allow it to air dry; do not use gauze to wipe off the site.
  4. Once the puncture area is prepared, do not palpate the site again. If the puncture area is touched, it must be thoroughly prepped again.
  5. Draw 20 mL of blood using a syringe. Studies have shown that the ability to reliably detect septicemia/bacteremia is related to volume of blood collected.  It is recommended that 20 ml of blood should be collected with each venipuncture on adult patients. If an Isolator™ tube is used, a vacutainer set up may be used, but care must be taken to keep the tube below the level of the vein so that the lysing solution does not flow back into the arm of the patient.

Blood Culture Set, Adult (Adult BacT/Alert bottles):  Inject 10 mL of blood into each bottle through the alcohol-swabbed rubber stopper. If less than 20 mL are obtained, equally distribute the volume in the two-bottle set. If less than 10 mL is collected, inject the total volume into the aerobic bottle. Do not inject more than 10 mL into each bottle.
Blood Culture (Pedi) (Pedi-BacT/Alert bottles):  For pediatric patients, collect 1 mL of blood for each year of age of the patient.  If </=4 mL is collected, a pediatric blood culture bottle (yellow top) should be inoculated.  If 5-10 mL is collected, an adult aerobic bottle (green top) should be inoculated.  If 11-20 mL is collected, inoculate an equal amount between adult aerobic (green top) and adult anaerobic (orange top) bottles.

 6.  Label bottles or tube with patient’s full name, date of birth and UVM Medical Center        medical record number if available.  The label must contain two unique identifiers, UVMMC medical record number (MRN) or patient’s date of birth along with the patient’s full legal name.

7. Deliver immediately to the laboratory.  Do not place blood culture samples in the refrigerator.



Test Schedule / Analytical Time / Test Priority

Daily / Reported when positive, negative final at 5 days / Not available STAT




Description CPT Code
Bacterial Culture, Blood/Bone Marrow 87040

Testing includes culture, identification, (additional charges/CPT codes may apply) and if culture results warrant, susceptibility testing (at an additional charge) of all indicated organisms.



Reference Range

No Growth



Performing Location

University of Vermont Medical Center

Is the UVMMC lab NY State Certified to perform this testing?  Yes/No


Order Code LOINC

Order Code Reporting Name LOINC Code
BRC Bacterial Culture, Blood 600-7


Result Code LOINC(s)

Result Code Reporting Name LOINC Code
SDES Specimen Description 31208-2
CULT Result 41852-5
RPT Report Status N/A