Blood Cultures: Practice, Utilization, and Challenges


Video length: 1 hour


This “Phlebotomy Webinar” will discuss types, sets, draws, and automated instruments for blood cultures. We will also address the impact of antibiotics, proper fill volumes, preventing contamination, and incubation time. Finally, we will discuss rapid diagnostics.


Kyle Rodino, Ph.D.
Clinical Microbiology Fellow
Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology
Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota

Learning Objectives

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

  • Define a blood culture set and the number of blood cultures needed to diagnose a bloodstream infection.
  • Identify ways to reduce blood culture contamination.
  • Describe the impact of antibiotics on blood culture positivity rates.

Intended Audience

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

Faculty Disclosure

Course director(s), planning committee, faculty, and all others who are in a position to control the content of this educational activity are required to disclose all relevant financial relationships with any commercial interest related to the subject matter of the educational activity. Safeguards against commercial bias have been put in place. Faculty members also will disclose any off-label and/or investigational use of pharmaceuticals or instruments discussed in their presentations. Disclosure of this information will be published in course materials so those participants in the activity may formulate their own judgments regarding the presentations.


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MCL Education

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