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Test Code Blood Culture Blood Culture

Biohazard Infectious

Clinical System Name

Blood Culture, Aerobic

Blood Culture, Aerobic + Yeast

Blood Culture, Anaerobic


Blood Culture, Aerobic

Blood Culture, Anaerobic

Blood Culture, Aerobic + Yeast


Includes Blood Culture only. Direct Gram Stain is not performed. Gram Stain is only performed if the bottle becomes positive during the incubation period. In general it is recommended to order both Aerobic and Anaerobic Blood Culture.


To culture for both yeast and aerobic bacteria, order Blood Culture, Aerobic + Yeast, inoculate a single aerobic (yellow capped) bottle. It is not necessary to inoculate two separate bottles. The incubation period is extended to 14 days to provide sufficient time for slow-growing yeast. Note, that while the Aerobic Blood Culture (yellow capped) bottles are optimal for yeast, they are sub-optimal for filamentous fungi such as Aspergillus, Coccidiodes, Fusarium, Histoplasma, and Blastomyces. To culture for these fungi, see Blood Culture, Fungal 


Anaerobic (purple capped) bottles are used for culture of Anaerobic bacteria. Order Blood Culture, Anaerobic.










Sample Requirements


Table of Optimal Blood Volume for Inoculation of Blood Culture Media:      
Patient weight in kg Aerobic Bottle (Yellow cap) Anaerobic Bottle (Purple cap) Aerobic and Anaerobic TOTAL Volume
< 3 1 mL 1 mL 2 mL
3 TO < 9 2 mL 2 mL 4 mL
9 TO < 12 3 mL 3 mL 6 mL
12 TO < 20 4 mL 4 mL 8 mL
20 TO 25 4 mL 5 mL 9 mL
> 25 4 mL 10 mL 14 mL


  • The most important factor in detection of blood stream infections is adequate blood volume for culture. If collecting blood for both aerobic and anaerobic cultures: <20 kg patient, divide the blood sample equally between the 2 bottles. For >20 kg patient divide sample as indicated in the chart. For <1 mL collection, the entire blood volume should be inoculated into one aerobic bottle.
  • Record the blood volume as optimal or sub-optimal (volume is less than the chart recommendation) on the specimen requisition in designated area.
  • It is recommended to always order and collect both an Aerobic and Anaerobic bottle. Using a blood culture specific sterile transfer device, asceptically inject blood into the Aerobic bottle first followed by the Anaerobic bottle.
  • Label the bottle with the site of collection.  
  • Sterile body fluids other than blood should not be inoculated into blood culture bottles. Send sample to Microbiology for set up on agar media.


Specimen: Blood

Container: Blood Culture Bottle

Preferred Vol: See Chart

Minimum Vol: See Chart

Processing Instructions


CPA: Send blood culture bottles to Microbiology for processing along with the requisition. 


Off-site collection: Off-site Children's Lab locations should send the sample to SCH Microbiology Laboratory for processing along with the requisition. Blood bottles should be kept at room temperature prior to and during courier transport. 


Other off-site locations, keep sample at room temperature prior to and during courier transport to SCH Microbiology Laboratory.


Temp Time
Room temp 48 hours
Refrigerated N
Frozen N



Procedure Performed Turn Around Time (TAT)
Aerobic/Anaerobic Blood Culture 24/7 5 days
Yeast Blood Culture 24/7

14 days


Performing Laboratory

Seattle Children's Laboratory



Microbiology Laboratory

CPT Codes




This test is not limited to the CPT codes listed.  Others may be added as more testing is necessary and depending on the pathogens isolated (example: MIC's and ID codes)

Notifiable Result

See Link below for Notifiable Conditions for WA State:


See Link below for PDF of phone numbers for Local Health jurisdictions (by County) in WA State:

Reporting Information

Negative Final Report for Aerobic/Anaerobic Bacteria:  5 days

Negative Final Report for Yeast:  14 days


The report will be updated and the provider will be notified if growth is detected within the given incubation period.