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Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust
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Test
Blood Cultures Paediatric
CategoryMicrobiology
Code
BCP
Test information
If blood for other tests such as blood gases or ESR is to be taken at the same 
venepuncture, the blood culture bottles should be inoculated first to avoid 
contamination. It is however preferable to take blood for culture separately. 
Disinfect the skin at the venepuncture site with isopropyl alcohol and allow to dry for at 
least 30 seconds. Disinfect the septum of the blood culture bottle with isopropyl alcohol 
and allow to dry. 
BacT/ALERT PF Plus Paediatric bottle (yellow top). 
A single paediatric bottle should be used for small volumes of blood. If the paediatric bottle is unavailable, use a single aerobic bottle. 
If necrotising enterocolitis is suspected and sufficient blood is obtained, 
inoculate a paediatric and an anaerobic bottle. 
Any materials used in taking these samples must be discarded in an approved clinical waste or sharps container. 
TIME BETWEEN SPECIMEN COLLECTION & PROCESSING 
Blood cultures should be transported to the laboratory and incubated or loaded onto the 
automated system as soon as possible. 
SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS TO MINIMISE DETERIORATION 
Where there is a delay in transport to the laboratory and/or loading onto the automated 
system, blood cultures should be stored at room Temperature (21-25C) and must not be refrigerated by porters or ward staff. The incubator in the corridor next to Specimen reception is switched off and so operates at room temperature. 
 
Please note that from the 10th of October 2018, Microbiology will be using a new analyser to process all blood cultures. Please use the small PAS non-barcoded Patient ID labels, and place on all bottles submitted. Alternatively the analyser will accept hand written patient’s details in the space provided on the bottle. This also applies to paediatric blood cultures. 
Under no circumstances remove the Bottle barcode label as the instrument requires this to identify the sample under processing. 
If these instructions are not followed, then delays may occur to the sample being loaded and processed. 
Thank you for your co-operation 
Pre-analytical
Do NOT remove  barcodes from bottles or obscure with patient label - these are required for the automated analyser.  Blood cultures should be transported to the laboratory for incubation immediately. DO NOT send via the air tube
Special requirements
Whole blood
Tube type
Single bottle (yellow)
 Blood culture set  -single bottle (yellow)
Minimum volume
Up to but no more than 4ml per bottle
TAT Inpatient (urgent)
2 day negative. Positive cultures as flagged. All positives telephoned. Most patients will be revie
TAT Inpatient
2 day negative. Positive cultures as flagged. All positives telephoned. Most patients will be revie
TAT GP/Outpatient
2 day negative. Positive cultures as flagged. All positives telephoned. Most patients will be revie
Referral lab
Local
Page last updated: 08 September 2021