When are blood cultures indicated in the workup of sepsis/septic shock?

Updated: Oct 07, 2020
  • Author: Andre Kalil, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Michael R Pinsky, MD, CM, Dr(HC), FCCP, FAPS, MCCM  more...
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Answer

Blood cultures should be obtained in patients with suspected sepsis (or blood infection) to facilitate isolation of a specific organism and tailoring of antibiotic therapy. These cultures are the primary means of diagnosing intravascular infections (eg, endocarditis) and infections of indwelling intravascular devices. Individuals at high risk for endocarditis are intravenous (IV) drug abusers and patients with prosthetic heart valves.


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