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Discard need for blood culture via venipuncture

I read the 2024 INS standard that initial sample should be discarded when drawing blood culture via peripheral venipuncture (Page S141 -- G1, c).  Not clear if the discard requirement applies only if diversion device is used. 

We currently do not use diversion device, and wondering if we have to discard the first sample before collecting the actual culture (via peripheral venipuncture).  And what's the rationale for it? 

Thank you

Discard the initial 1.5 to 2

Discard the initial 1.5 to 2 mL from a peripheral venipuncture. The diversion device does this automatically but you can do it manually if not using one of those devices. This discard will removed the skin plug that can sometimes happen with any venipuncture. Plus there is no way that any skin prep can render the skin sterile. There will always be skin flora left after the most effective skin antiseptic and technique. Discarding this initial sample reduces the contamination of the blood sent for culture. 

Lynn Hadaway, M.Ed., RN, NPD-BC, CRNI

Lynn Hadaway Associates, Inc.

PO Box 10

Milner, GA 30257


Office Phone 770-358-7861

Thank you for the

Thank you for the clarification. Will change our practice accordingly. 

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