Blood Cultures

The contamination rate of blood cultures (BC) taken on the ACCU is very high with approximately 50% of all positive cultures being coagulase negative staphylococcus aureus. Blood cultures should be taken as per the Trust guidelines from a peripheral stab (http://bartshealthintranet/AboutUs/CorporateDirectorates/MedicalDirectorate/Infectionpreventionandcontrol/Index.aspx).

When undertaking a septic screen, blood cultures should be taken from a peripheral stab and from all existing central venous access lines. If you take BC from a central venous catheter then pair them with peripheral cultures and label them as such.

Label the site of the blood cultures (peripheral, central line, vas-cath etc).

If taking more than one set of blood cultures, request them for different times so that they appear separately on CRS results.

Do not take blood cultures from existing arterial lines except in exceptional circumstances.
(a significant proportion of blood cultures positive for skin commensals are taken from arterial lines, reflecting contamination. These are extremely rarely a source of CLABSI)

If taking blood cultures from a newly inserted central line at the time of insertion maintaining asepsis, label these as peripheral.

Clean skin (or bionector access port if taking from central access)  thoroughly with 2% chlorhexidine and allow to dry.
Clean the top of the blood culture bottles with 2% chlorhexidine and allow to dry.
Maintain non-touch technique when taking sample.