Annals of Clinical Microbiology, The official Journal of the Korean Society of Clinical Microbiology


Weeks in Review


Weeks to Publication
Indexed in KCI, KoreaMed, Synapse, DOAJ
Open Access, Peer Reviewed
pISSN 2288-0585 eISSN 2288-6850

Nationwide Survey of Blood Culture Performance Regarding Skin Disinfection, Blood Collection and Laboratory Procedures

Original article

Annals of Clinical Microbiology (Ann Clin Microbiol) 2011 September, Volume 14, Issue 3, pages 91-96.

Nationwide Survey of Blood Culture Performance Regarding Skin Disinfection, Blood Collection and Laboratory Procedures

Jeong Hwan Shin1, Sae Am Song1, Mi-na Kim2, Sunjoo Kim3
1Department of Laboratory Medicine and Paik Institute of Clinical Research, Busan Paik Hospital, Inje University College of Medicine, Busan, 2Department of Laboratory Medicine, University of Ulsan College of Medicine and Asan Medical Center, Seoul, 3Department of Laboratory Medicine and Institute of Health Sciences, Gyeongsang National University School of Medicine, Jinju, Korea


Background: Although many laboratories use automated blood culture systems, adequate skin disinfection and optimal blood volume are still critical for successful culture. The authors undertook a nationwide survey to understand the current situation and problems of blood culture in Korea. 

Methods: A survey of blood culture was performed in March and April 2010, including disinfectants, blood collection intervals, and recommended blood volumes. The laboratory physicians described the storage condition of culture bottles before delivery to the equipment. For quality control, the positive rate and skin contamination rate were studied. 

Results: Replies to the survey were collected from 74 Korean hospitals. Povidone iodine after either isopropyl alcohol or ethanol application was the most common means of skin disinfection. Sampling of a second set of cultures was performed simultaneously in 38% of hospitals and after a 30-min interval in 50%. The recommended blood volume was 10 mL in most cases (69%), but was 20 mL in 24% of cases. The bottles were stored at 37oC before installation in 23% of cases and at room temperature in 16%, whereas 57% were placed directly in the equipment during the night shift. Positive rates ranged 8-10% in 32% of hospitals, 5-8% in 23%, and <5% in 12%. Skin contamination rates were 2-3% in 32% of hospitals, 1-2% in 27%, and >3% in 13%. 

Conclusion: Skin disinfection methods were rather variable. Sampling interval, blood volume, and storage of bottles should be standardized. More than 10% of the hospitals require quality improvement in terms of positive rate and skin contamination rates. (Korean J Clin Microbiol 2011;14:91-96)


 Sepsis, Bacteremia, Blood culture, Contamination, Disinfection