Feb 2, 2018




Clinical Hub,Tools & Resources,UWHC Lab Test Directory,Microbiology

Culture, Blood, Bacteria and Yeast

Culture, Blood, Bacteria and Yeast (GM4045 (for 1 collection site) or HCBLOC2 (if ordering 2 sites)) Microbiology Lab Test

Name: Culture, Blood, Bacteria and Yeast

Test Name: Culture, Blood, Bacteria and Yeast

Health Link Test Code: GM4045 (for 1 collection site) or HCBLOC2 (if ordering 2 sites)

LIS Test Code: BLOC

CPT Code(s): 87040; Additional CPT codes may be added for processing, identification, and susceptibility testing.

Methodology: Automated

Days Performed: Daily.

In-Lab Turnaround Time: Preliminary report: 1 day. Final report: Negative culture 5 days; Positive culture 2 days minimum.

Stat In-Lab Turnaround Time: Not available stat.

Specimen: Blood

Collection Container: Bactec® Blood Culture Bottle

Collection Volume: 20 mL

Pediatric Collection Volume: 4.5 mL

Stability Ambient:

2 days

Stability Refridgerated:

Not acceptable

Stability Frozen:

Not acceptable

Sample Analyzed: Whole Blood

Specimen Transport:

Transport specimen to the laboratory.

Unacceptable Criteria:

See Additional Information for rejection criteria.


No growth

Interpretation Type: Expected Results

Critical Calls: yes

Additional Information:

Best practices dictate that blood culture bottles should always be sent to the lab as soon as possible after blood collection for optimal results.


The method used detects aerobic and anaerobic bacteria as well as Candida and Cryptococcus. For adult patients, submit 15-20 mL from each of two separate sites. Culture of 30-40 mL per septic episode, not per fever spike, is sufficient to detect 99.9% of cases of sepsis in adults. For optimum diagnosis of sepsis, sample 3-4 sites only on the first day of a septic episode. Cultures on subsequent days are of minimal diagnostic value. If peripheral access is poor, one peripheral sample should be accompanied by a 15-20 mL line-drawn specimen.




Susceptibility testing is routinely performed except on organisms that are likely skin or air contaminants including single positive cultures growing coagulase-negative Staphylococcus.


PCR for MRSA and MSSA is routinely performed on positive blood cultures with gram-positive cocci in clusters. The assay cannot detect MSSA if MRSA is present. 


Culture, Blood, Filamentous and Dimorphic Fungi cultures should be drawn when Malassezia furfur or dimorphic fungi, e.g. Histoplasma capsulatum, are suspected or in the presence of negative routine blood cultures. See separate entry.


For fastidious bacteria, contact the UWHC Director of Microbiology at (608) 263-4445 to discuss appropriate testing methods. If mycobacteria or cytomegalovirus is suspected, see specific entries.


 UWHC/UWMF providers please refer to the UConnect intranet site for Best Practices for Culturing BloodPolicy 2.5.6 Blood Cultures for Adult Patients and Policy 2.5.8 Blood Cultures for Pediatric Patients.