Blood culture collection and shipping instructions

Blood Culture Collection and Shipping

Blood culture collection bottles should be obtained from the NVDC bacteriology lab prior to collecting the sample. Please call the lab at 402-472-8470.

Important: Never refrigerate or incubate bottles.

  • Label the bottles with the patient identifiers such as name, ID number, date and time drawn, etc.
  • Prepare the venipuncture site by shaving the area if necessary and then applying betadine and then alcohol.
  • Prepare the blood culture bottles by disinfecting the rubber stopper with alcohol and allowing it to dry.
  • Using a needle and syringe, draw a total of 10ml of blood. Remove and dispose of the needle and replace it with a sterile one.

    If 10 ml of blood cannot be collected, divide the blood as follows:

    •  > 1ml, divide equally between both the aerobic (purple) and anaerobic (red) bottles.
    •  < 1ml but  >0.5ml, place 0.5ml in the aerobic bottle and the remainder in the anaerobic bottle.
    •  <0.5ml, put the entire sample in the aerobic bottle.

  • Immediately transfer the blood to the prepared bottles under aseptic conditions. Insert the needle at a right angle in the center of the rubber stopper and expel half the sample into each bottle. Always inoculate the aerobic bottle first.
  • Gently invert the bottles 4-5 times to mix contents.
  • Leave the bottles at room temperature and get them to the laboratory within 24 hours of collection.