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Print version ISSN 0123-9392


MALDONADO*, Natalia et al. Characterization of procedures for performing blood cultures in adult patients, in hospitals of the Metropolitan Area of Aburrá Valley. Infect. [online]. 2018, vol.22, n.1, pp.19-25. ISSN 0123-9392.


To characterize the procedures that are performed for the collection, analysis, reporting and quality assurance of blood cultures in adult patients in hospital institutions.

Material and Methods:

Descriptive study in 15 hospitals of Medellin and its surroundings. A semi-structured collection instrument was used to collect the information provided by each hospital; SPSS(r) was used for the analysis.


All Institutions have protocols based o nauthorized sources; there were important differences in the pre-analytic and post-analytic processes. The Products employed for skin antisepsis were2-4% Chlorhexidine gluconate (66.7%)And70% Isopropyl or ethyl alcohol(20.0%), with discrepancies in product action times. 73.3% use sterile gloves and an equal proportion uses an open system (syringe) for venipuncture. Two aerobic and one anaerobic bottles are taken per episode in adult patients in 46.6% of institutions and only two aerobic bottles in 33.3% of them. Indicators of contamination were used by 66.6 % of institutions, of positivity in 53.3% and of blood volume in 26.6%. The average rate of contaminated blood cultures during the follow-up period was 1.61%.


Heterogeneity in the procedures was observed especially in the pre-analytic and post-analytical phases. In the pursuit of excellence and patient safety,

standardized protocols and the use of indicators to measure and control the performance of blood cultures are needed.

Keywords : blood culture; contamination; Blood Specimen Collection; Specimen Handling.

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