Trust Logo - Return to the homepage


Blood culture to detect bacteraemia is an important investigation with major implications on the diagnosis of infections in patients and selection of appropriate antimicrobial therapy (Department of Health 2007).



This policy aims to promote good practice in the collection of blood for culture and thus reduce the number of false positive results (contamination) and resulting complications for patient safety, quality and associated cost of care. The policy also aims to reduce inappropriate sampling of blood for culture. (Department of Health 2010).

Early positive results provide information on which appropriate treatment can commence. These recommendations aim to ensure that blood cultures are taken:

  • for the correct indications
  • at the correct time
  • using correct technique in order to prevent contamination of the sample and minimise risk to patients and staff


Policy Details

Download: PDF version
Compiled by: The Infection Control Team
Ratified by: Clinical Governance Committee
Date Ratified: June 2016
Date Issued: April 2018
Review Date: June 2019
Target Audience: All Trust staff who undertake blood cultures
Contact name: Ann Birler, Consultant Nurse, Infection Prevention and Control