Blood culture

Blood culture sampling

Use 1 aerobic and 1 anaerobic vials. The vials are made specially for blood culture and are provided by the laboratory.

When to take the sample:

  • During hyperthermia (shivering), hypothermia, or a state of shock;
  • Generally, when the clinical context is compatible with bacteraemia;
  • Several samples may be required, usually 3, at a minimum of 20-minute intervals;
  • Disinfect the skin to avoid contamination with the skin’s commensal germs;
  • Apply povidone-iodine for a minimum of 2 minutes;
  • Also disinfect the stoppers of the 2 vials (povidone-iodine or 70° alcohol).


  • Use a 20 cm3 sterile syringe and needle, then sterilely transfer of 7 to 10 cm3 of blood per vial, starting with the aerobic vial
  • Alternatively, use a butterfly needle and an adaptor to collect the blood straight into the vials;
  • Shake the vials and label them;
  • Send them to the laboratory quickly as the blood culture must be kept at 37° (in the lab) as soon as possible. Never put in the refrigerator. Transport at room temperature.

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