Blood culture bottles (aerobic and anaerobic) – CHECK DATE AND MARK 10ML
Open packets and place neatly in tray, keeping items in plastic parts of packets (without touching the instruments themselves)
Place Vacutainer holder on end of butterfly tubing
Return to patient (with tray and sharps bin)
Expose arm and place a pillow beneath it
Place tourniquet around patient’s arm 4-5 finger widths above intended venepuncture site (antecubital fossa is usually the easiest)
Identify a suitable vein (i.e. one you can feel, not necessarily one you can see). NB: take sufficient time to find the best vein – this is the main determinant of whether you will be successful or not.
Taking blood culture
Put on gloves
Sterilise area using skin-cleansing wipe (clean for 30 seconds, then allow to air-dry for 30 seconds)
Remove caps of blood culture bottles and clean tops with device disinfection wipe
Anchor the skin distally with your non-dominant hand and insert the needle at 10-30˚to the skin with your dominant hand
Use your dominant hand to hold the butterfly wings steady on the patient’s arm. Then use your non-dominant hand to:
Fill blood culture bottles (minimum requirement is 10ml) and invert them after filling. Fill the aerobic bottle first then anaerobic bottle to avoid getting air from the tube in the anaerobic bottle.
Remove tourniquet after removing the last bottle
Place gauze loosely over the puncture site while you remove the needle. Then apply pressure to the gauze once the needle is fully removed.
Put the needle immediately in the sharps bin
Maintain pressure over the gauze until bleeding has stopped, then tape the gauze down over puncture site
Thank patient and restore clothing
Discard waste and clean tray; then discard gloves and apron; wash hands
Fill in blood bottles, put in bags with printed request forms, send to lab
Document procedure and tests requested in patient’s notes