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Michelle Todd CRNI
Do you waste prior to taking a blood culture specimen, or just put the first blood out into the bottle

 Apparently practice has changed in the past 3 years for drawing cultures from lines, this is what our infection control nurse states. Instead of using the first draw without waste from a line to capture any organisms in the line, they want a flush/waste done to try to get a real specimen from the blood and not the line. Has everyone changed to this. Does anyone have any labs, doctors or references that are recommending for or against either way of doing it and how are you doing it?

There is a reference stating

There is a reference stating to use the first draw for culture. Also do not draw from a used needleless connector.

1.    M.  Wilson, M. Mitchell, A. Morris, P. Murray LR, L. Reller, M. Towns, M. Weinstein, S. Wellstood, W. Dunne, R. Jerris, D. Welch. Principles and Procedures for Blood Cultures; Approved Guideline. Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute. 2007;27(17).

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

Lynn Hadaway Associates, Inc.

126 Main Street, PO Box 10

Milner, GA 30257


Office Phone 770-358-7861

Our specimen is the first

Our specimen is the first aspirate drawn directly from the hub.  If blood cannot be obtained, we will flush with 10ml of normal saline and the specimen becomes the diluted aspirate.

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