Blood Culture



Quest Diagnostics Test Code: 7002

Bacterial sepsis constitutes one of the most serious infectious diseases. The detection of microorganisms in a patient’s blood has importance in the diagnosis and prognosis of endocarditis, septicemia, or chronic bacteremia.

Routine blood culture test is a test that identifies existing bacteria or yeast in our bloodstream. There are always small amounts of bacteria in our blood (that state is called bacteremia) and it isn’t dangerous, because our immune system deals with it everyday. On the other hand, infection in the blood (known as septicemia) is very serious, because it could lead person into life-threatening condition, called sepsis. This happens usually when immune system is heavily compromised. For a blood culture test, a small amount of blood is drawn from a vein using a sterilized needle. Before pricking the skin, the area is cleaned with alcohol in order to fulfill aseptic technique. Needed amount of blood is usually about 10-20 mL for adults, and 1-3 mL for children. Blood sample is then set into 3 different bottles: one aerobic, one anaerobic and one for fungus and mycobacteria. Blood samples should be taken when the temperature starts to rise, and there should be 2-3 sets of cultures from separate sites at least 30-60 minutes apart (no more than 4 sets per 24-hour period). The reference range for blood culture is no growth.

This test is performed in following conditions such as:

• Yearly check up


Customers who require more than one blood culture should consult with their doctor to determine the best place on the body for blood to be drawn from. The optimum draw site may be different depending on the suspected source of the infection. Blood draws for multiple cultures should be performed no less than 30 minutes apart. If you are ordering more than one blood culture please submit separate orders for each test.


Specimen Collected
  • Blood
Estimated Time Taken

Results for the Blood Culture test require time to determine if any bacterial growth is developed. Turnaround time is typically up to 10 business days.