Test Overview
Test Methodology

BacT/Alert Blood Culture System

Test Usage

Isolate and identify bacteria or yeast causing bacteremia or fungemia.

Reference Range *

No growth

Test Details
Days Set Up
Daily, 24 hrs
Analytic Time

Preliminary results are reported in 24 hours. Negative cultures are reported in 5 days. The health care provider will be notified of initial positive smears and cultures.

Soft Order Code
MiChart Code
Blood Culture, Bacteria and Yeast
Specimen Requirements

Two blood culture sets from different anatomic sites should be submitted to detect suspected bacteremia or fungemia. Draw blood before initiating antibiotic therapy if possible. Invert BacT/Alert bottle to mix with blood and broth thoroughly. Do not refrigerate. For optimum recovery, send immediately or store BacT/Alert bottle at room temperature and send within 18-24 hrs. A maximum of 3 blood culture sets will be accepted within a 24 hr period. If an unacceptable specimen is received, the client will be notified before disposal of the original specimen. Collection: Clean venipuncture site with soap and water if soiled. Wipe with 70% alcohol and allow to dry. Place swab containing an iodoform solution on the venipuncture site and apply in overlapping circles peripherally to obtain a diameter of 4 inches. Allow to dry 2 minutes before performing venipuncture. Do not palpate venipuncture site after preparation. If the patient is sensitive to iodine, alcohol alone may be used. Draw required amount of blood into syringe and transfer to blood culture set. To inoculate bottles, remove protective top from bottle, swab with 70% alcohol and air dry before puncturing. Do not add air to bottles. Label each bottle individually with patient's name, registration number and anatomic site of blood draw. Please do not put label on bottom of bottles or across two bottles since this interferes with loading bottles on the instrument. Additional Instructions:1. Fever of undetermined origin: obtain 2 separate blood cultures initially and 2 more 24-36 hrs later collected 1 hr before the expected temperature elevation. 2. Acute endocarditis: obtain three separate blood cultures during the first 1-2 hrs of evaluation and begin therapy. 3. Subacute endocarditis: obtain 3 blood cultures on day 1. If all are negative 24 hrs later, obtain 3 more. 4. Filamentous fungus (e.g., Histoplasma or Aspergillus sp.) suspected: send isolator tube for fungus blood culture (Blood Culture, Fungus). 5. Mycobacterium sp. suspected: send ia BacT/Alert MB bottle for an AFB blood culture (Blood Culture, AFB). 6. Quantitative culture for bacteria required: see Blood Culture, Quantitative.

Normal Volume
10 mL into each bottle. DO NOT OVERFILL.
Minimum Volume
1 mL per year of age (pediatric patients)
Storage Temperature
Ambient: Yes
Incubation: No
Refrigerate: No
Freeze: No
Additional Information

Routine blood culture is used to detect aerobic and anaerobic bacteria and yeast. The BacT/Alert Blood Culture System monitors blood cultures continuously for carbon dioxide production by microorganisms. Positive signaling bottles are gram stained to verify positive status. Test includes susceptibility testing of potentially pathogenic organism(s) at an additional charge unless specifically declined.

CPT Code
Fee Code
NY State Approved