Collection, transport and storage procedures for blood culture specimens in adult patients: recommendations from a board of Italian experts

Francesca De Plato, Carla Fontana, Giovanni Gherardi, Gaetano Pierpaolo Privitera, Vincenzo Puro, Roberto Rigoli, Bruno Viaggi, Pierluigi Viale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Bloodstream infections (BSIs) remain a potentially life-threatening condition. The gold standard for the diagnosis of BSI is still blood cultures (BCs), and the diagnostic yield depends on clinical and technical factors that have an impact on collection and transportation. Hence, monitoring of the entire pre-analytical process from blood collection to transportation to the microbiology laboratory is critical. To optimize the clinical impact of the diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, a multidisciplinary approach and univocal protocols are mandatory. A board of specialists discussed the available evidence on the pre-analytical process and produced the present document to guide physicians and nurses on the ideal execution of BC: (1) timing and preparation for blood collection; (2) skin antisepsis; (3) blood volume; (4) sampling method and safety; (5) medium to be used; (6) time to BC transportation; and (7) quality assurance and quality management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1680-1689
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Oct 25 2019



  • blood culture collection
  • blood cultures
  • bloodstream infections
  • storage
  • transport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical

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