Blood Cultures: Best-Practice

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A blood culture is a type of phlebotomy in which samples of blood are collected via venepuncture to determine whether a systemic bloodstream infection (bacteraemia, fungaemia or viraemia) is present. Once blood samples have been taken, they are added to cultures to encourage pathogen growth.

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Blood cultures are considered the gold standard method of detecting pathogens related to bacteraemia and sepsis, which may be life-threatening and require immediate treatment. However, despite the importance of these tests, there are several disadvantages when they are used improperly or unnecessarily, including costs and false positives. Therefore, it’s essential that blood cultures are performed only when needed, and are performed correctly.

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