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Heelstick for blood culture??

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Hi all,


My first post here, but I've lurked for quite awhile.  

Here's my question:  Would you accept a blood culture on a 12 day old ER patient that was collected from a heelstick?

The blood culture bottle came up positive in less than 24 hrs-GPC in clusters-surprise, surprise.  I would have rejected it when it was collected, but the tech on duty at the time accepted it and put it in the bactec.  After coming up positive, the supervisor decided that we could not reject and the doctor would have to decide if it was a contaminate or not.  


What would you have done or what is your policy/procedure?



Edited by dkd
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Haha!  That's what I thought, but I googled capillary blood culture and did find a study about it that said they were able to collect  cultures that way, but they had over 20% contamination rate.  So, I was wondering if anyone actually does it that way!?  It did involve sterilizing the heel, and applying a thin layer of sterile petroleum jelly and then letting the blood bead up on the jelly.  I'm 99.99% sure our ER did not follow that procedure-haha.

Coincidentally,  the tech who accepted the culture quit the very next day!! :blink:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Our ER gets quite creative.  They once called wanting  chemistry to send them the green top back down the shuttle.  When the Tech asked why she found out they wanted to do a blood culture off of it.  We wouldn't accept a heel stick, nor the green top.


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