Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests

Microbiologic cultures should be obtained before anti-infective therapy is initiated. However, cultures take 6 to 48 hours for results to be returned and may be negative (no growth of bacterial organisms). Negative cultures do not rule out infection. Administering anti-infectives prior to obtaining cultures may lead to a false negative culture.

Two sets of blood cultures should be obtained to rule out contamination. At least one set should be drawn percutaneously and one drawn through each vascular access device, unless the device was recently (less than 48 hours) inserted.

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