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Frequently Asked Questions
B. Reporting
Blood Culture

Q. If a patient has multiple blood cultures on the same day that all grow the same organism, do they all need to be entered individually or can just one be entered?

Please refer to the ICU Protocol for detailed instructions on how to report multiple positive blood cultures. In brief, only the first PBC of an episode should be reported. The infection episode length is 7 days (where day one is the first specimen date) for each organism cultured. BSI Event Forms (case capture) must be completed separately for each infection episode. Different rules apply if the organisms grown in the multiple PBCs are not exactly the same. Please refer to ICU Protocol section 5.2.1 Examples for recognised pathogens for detailed guidance on how to report multiple positive blood cultures in different scenarios. Only polymicrobial infections can be entered as a single event on the same BSI Event Form, where a polymicrobial infection is defined as multiple organisms cultures from the same blood culture set. Multiple blood culture sets resulting in multiple organism cultures should be entered on separate BSI Event Forms and will be provided with their own ICU data capture system ID number.