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Testing Results
IMPORTANT! Sites requesting testing must have approval from the appropriate state or local health department before submitting specimens. Approval must be sent to NPHL by email at or by calling (402) 559-9444.

A Special Microbiology Form must accompany the specimens. Some tests require additional forms and patient history. This will be listed below when applicable. When requested, testing will not be performed without all required information.

Please call NPHL Client Services at (402) 559-2440 or toll free at (866) 290-1406 for further clarification.


  Test: Blood Culture, Aerobic and Anaerobic 
  Synonym: Blood Culture 
  Method: Continuous monitoring blood culture system/identification  
  Availability: Daily; preliminary report at 1 day and final report at 5 days for negatives. All positive blood cultures are reported as soon as detected  
  Specimen: Blood. Draw aseptically per Blood Culture Collection procedure. Wipe off top of Blood culture bottles with alcohol wipe and let dry.  
  Collection Device: Bactec Plus Aerobic /F bottle and Bactec Lytic/Anaerobic F bottle. Pediatric blood culture bottles are available upon request.
Specimen Labeling: Test subject to CLIA regulations and required 2 patient identifiers on specimen container and requisition forms  
  Volume: 3.0-10.0 mL of blood into each Bactec aerobic bottle and Bactec anaerobic bottle. Optimum blood specimen is 10 mL each. If less blood is obtained, split the amount of blood drawn between bottles, 3.0 mL required for each bottle. For Pediatric patients, 1.0-3.0 mL of blood Bactec Pediatric aerobic culture bottle. 
  Storage/Transport: Prior to and during shipment: Ambient 15-25°C
Shipping instructions, including specimen-handling requirements during transport:
Package and ship as UN3373 Category B, Biological Substance. Place in biohazard bag with absorbent material. Transport by NPHL ground courier (NPHL brown shipper not required). If courier not available, contact Client Services (866) 290-1406 to arrange pickup.
See instructions and shipping address: 
  Unacceptable: Improperly collected or stored culture bottles 
  Specimen Stability: Specimen should be sent to lab as soon as possible  
  Reference Interval: No growth at 5 days 
  Reportable Disease: Refer to Nebraska DHHS Title 173, Communicable Diseases 
  Comments: State source of blood if other than peripheral on test request form. Example: Line draw. No more than 3 blood culture sets should be drawn with 24 hour period, unless from multiple lines. Document on test request form if patient is suspected of having endocarditis or usual organism such as Brucella, Francisella or other BT agent.

Gram stain performed on positives. Organism identification is performed when clinically-relevant organisms are suspected. Antimicrobial susceptibilities are performed on clinically-relevant isolates when appropriate, following methods recommended by CLSI. Call laboratory for list of routine susceptibility panels.  
  Revised: 12/11/2018 


If you have questions about proper specimen collection, please call NPHL Client Services at (402) 559-2440 or toll free at (866) 290-1406.