Phlebotomy: Media Inoculation Methods

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Posted on 16th May 2011 by admin in Uncategorized

There are two different ways that media inoculations can occur.  One way is to collect the blood specimen directly into the bottle.  The other way is to collect the specimen in a syringe and then transfer in into the media bottle after the collection is complete.

Direct inoculation methods will use a butterfly syringe and special holder to collect the blood specimen directly into the blood culture media.  To collect blood in this manner the special holder should be connected to the Luer connector of the butterfly collection set.  The aerobic vial should be filled first.  To avoid backflow from occuring, keep the culture bottle or tube lower than the collection site.  Also, keep the culture media from contacting the stopper or needle during the collection process.  Each container should be mixed well after it is full and the needle is removed from the holder.  Once all of the containers are filled and there are no more tests to be done, remove the needle from the patient’s arm and activate the needle safety device.  Be sure to keep firm pressure on the venipuncture site for several minutes.

Syringe inoculation will require that the blood be transferred to bottles after the collection process is complete.  A special safety transfer device must be used to transfer the blood from the syringe to the bottles.  This device is mandated by OSHA regulations.  Once the draw is complete, the needle safety device should be activated once the needle is removed from the vein.  The safety transfer device can now be attached to the syringe.  The culture bottle should be pushed into the device until the needle inside the device penetrates the bottle stopper.  The blood in the syringe will automatically be extracted by the vacuum created in the container.  The plunger can be used to control the amount of blood that is extracted into the container.  The plunger should never be used to force blood into the vial because the specimen may hemolyze.

Use extreme caution if you do not have a blood transfer device available for use with syringe inoculations.  To reduce the likelihood of injuries to the phlebotomist, do not change needles prior to transfusion and do not hold the culture bottle in your hand during the inoculation process.

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