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Understanding Blood Culture
Jul 27, 2018

Understanding Blood Culture


What is blood culture?

Blood culture is a laboratory test in which blood is collected from a patient and placed in a bottle containing the medium to determine whether the microorganism causing the infection has invaded the patient's blood.


The main purpose of blood culture:

● Confirm infectious pathogens

● Identification of pathogens

●Guided antibiotic treatment

When is blood culture done?

When blood flow infection or sepsis is suspected, routine blood culture should be performed.


Symptoms of suspected bloodstream infections are:

◆ Unexplained fever (>38 ° C) or hypothermia (<36 ° C)

◆ shock, chills, stiffness

◆Severe local infections (meningitis, endocarditis, pneumonia, pyelonephritis, post-abdominal infection, ...)

◆The heart rate is abnormally accelerated

◆hypotension or high blood pressure

◆ Increased breathing rate


After clinical symptoms appear, blood culture should be taken as early as possible. Blood collection culture is ideal before applying antibacterial drugs. If the patient has been treated with antibiotics, we should take the blood culture before the next dose.

Since bacteria and fungi are not always present in the blood, the sensitivity of a single blood culture combination is limited.

A recent study showed that a continuous blood culture monitoring system was able to accumulate statistically more than 24 hours of blood culture sensitivity results. We can observe that the cumulative detection rate of three blood culture combinations (two bottles each, 20ml per combination, 10ml per bottle) is: the first group detection rate is 73.2%, the second group cumulative detection rate 93.9%, the cumulative detection rate of the third group was 96.9%. If the fourth blood culture combination is used, the detection rate of bloodstream infection is >99%.


Why do you need an anaerobic culture bottle?

Cultivate strict anaerobic bacteria;

Some facultative anaerobic bacteria grow better or faster in anaerobic bottles;

Early report of partial blood culture results;

Only do aerobic bottles, at least 1-3% reduction in blood culture positive rate;


The importance of blood culture:

Sepsis is an important challenge for us during critical care. Early diagnosis is one of the decisive factors in the prognosis of patients.

Blood culture is the most commonly used and effective diagnostic tool for the detection of bacteremia and fungalemia. Blood culture is an important study that provides important clues for the diagnosis and treatment of patients with bloodstream infections and possible concentrations of concentration.