Blood Cultures: Present and Future Challenges


Video length: 1 hour 4 minutes



Diagnosis of a bloodstream infection (BSI) is one of the most critical functions of the health care team. Proper diagnosis requires a multidisciplinary approach including sterile collection, good laboratory technique, and effective communication of results to health care providers. This presentation will cover best practices along each step of the way from blood-culture collection to results reporting.



Upon completion of this activity, participants should be able to:

  • Cite the number of blood culture sets necessary to collect in order to adequately recover clinically significant organisms in bloodstream infections.
  • List blood-collection approaches that decrease probability of contamination.
  • Formulate effective blood-culture reports for health care providers.

Intended Audience

This conference is designed for phlebotomists, phlebotomy managers, phlebotomy educators, and other patient-care staff involved in specimen collection.



Image of Audrey Schuetz, M.D.Audrey Schuetz, M.D.
Associate Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology
Division of Clinical Microbiology
Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota


Level of instruction



National Physician Payment Transparency Program

Mayo Medical Laboratories is not an applicable manufacturer or applicable group purchasing organization (GPO). (GPOs, per the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and this program do not trigger any reporting requirements pursuant to Open Payments [Sunshine Act] legislation.)

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This post was developed by our Education and Technical Publications Team.