News: Health-care workers don't know how much blood to collect

May 1, 2008

An anonymous survey of 360 health-care employees working at an urban tertiary care facility reveals that the vast majority have no idea that at least 10 mL of blood per culture is necessary for an optimal yeild of organisms.

An anonymous survey of 360 health-care employees working at an urban tertiary care facility and qualified to collect blood cultures reveals that the vast majority have no idea that at least 10 mL of blood per culture is necessary for an optimal yield of organisms.

In fact, the survey found that 79% of respondents thought that less than 10 mL was sufficient for culture, almost half (44%) answered that less than 5 mL was enough, and a full one fifth (21%) answered that 1 mL or less was all that was required for testing.

In a breakdown by profession, 90% of nurses, 97% of technicians, and 55% of physicians thought less than 10 mL was sufficient. And 52% of nurses, 63% of technicians, and 26% of physicians thought that less than 5 mL was all that was required.

Donnino MW, Goyal N, Terlecki TM, et al. Inadequate blood volume collected for culture: a survey of health care professionals. Mayo Clin Proc. 2007;82:1069-1072.