A Blood Culture is used to detect the presence of bacteria or fungi in the body. It is common to order up to 3 cultures in succession as a single test may not yield conclusive results. A Blood Culture is often ordered with a Complete Blood Count (CBC) which measures white blood cells or a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP) to evaluate organ function. Results from these tests can help a person's doctor in diagnosing the cause or source of an infection.
A Blood Culture is typically ordered when someone is experiencing symptoms of Sepsis, especially if they have had a recent operation or are receiving immunosuppressive therapy. Symptoms can include but are not limited to fever, chills, nausea, rapid heartbeat or breathing, confusion, decreased urine output, a drop in blood pressure, or inflammation throughout the body. In some people, especially young children or newborns, infections may be present without showing any of the typical symptoms.
In some cases, when a bacteria is identified in the sample, additional susceptibility testing will be performed at no additional charge.
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.
Note: Result turn around times are an estimate and are not guaranteed. Our reference lab may need additional time due to weather, holidays, confirmation/repeat testing, or equipment maintenance.
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.
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