Blood Culture, Routine

CPT CODE: 87040
TEST INFORMATION: Used to isolate and identify potentially pathogenic aerobic and/or anaerobic microorganisms causing bacteremia and perform susceptibility testing, when appropriate; establish the diagnosis of endocarditis. Other isolated organisms (i.e. fungi and mycobacteria) may be referred for identification and/or susceptibility testing if medically indicated AND a separate culture procedure has NOT yielded the same organism(s).
DAYS PERFORMED: Daily, 24 hours
TURNAROUND TIME: Preliminary culture reports available after 24 hours or when an isolate is detected. Culture reports of no growth will be issued after 5 days.
SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS: The specific site of the specimen (i.e. arterial, swan ganz, etc.) MUST be specified on the order or requisition.
CONTAINER TYPE: Blood: BacT/ALERT® SA (aerobic) and BacT/ALERT® SN(anaerobic)

Blood cultures should be obtained prior to the initiation of antimicrobial therapy. COLLECTION OF TWO BLOOD CULTURE SETS IS STRONGLY RECOMMENDED. The specimens should be drawn either at separate intervals, no less than 30 minutes apart, or from two separate sites.

Click here for detailed instructions for blood collection using a butterfly collection set.

Click here for detailed instructions for blood collection using a needle and syringe. 

SPECIMEN REQUIREMENTS: Blood or bone marrow aspiration
REJECTION CRITERIA: Improperly labeled bottles, expired bottles, refrigerated specimen, insufficient specimen volume, clotted specimen.
MINIMUM VOLUME: 0.1 mL blood per bottle, 0.1 mL bone marrow  OPTIMAL VOLUME FOR BLOOD IS 10 mL PER BOTTLE
HANDLING INSTRUCTIONS: Specimen should be transported as soon as possible. When transportation is delayed, leave at room temperature. Do NOT refrigerate. Clients: When transportation is delayed more than 4 hours, incubate at 35°C.
LIMITATIONS OF TEST: Blood cultures from patients suspected of having Brucella or Leptospira MUST be requested as a special culture. Call the Clinical Microbiology laboratory at (312)942-5452 for special instructions for blood collection for these organisms. Yeast often are isolated from routine blood cultures. However, if yeast or other fungi are specifically suspected, a separate fungal blood culture should be drawn along with each of the routine blood specimens. See separate listing for proper collection of Blood Fungus Culture. If mycobacteria are suspected, a separate mycobacterial culture should be drawn along with each of the routine blood cultures. Refer to separate entry, Blood Mycobacterium Culture, for proper collection.
METHODOLOGY: Automation (continuous monitoring).
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: It is NOT recommended to culture blood while antimicrobials are present unless verification of an agent`s efficacy is needed. To diagnose endocarditis, 3 sets of cultures may be required. Single blood culture sets are usually inappropriate and are contraindicated except for pediatric patients.
TEST SYNONYM(S):Culture, Blood; Culture, Bone Marrow