Volume 40, Issue 4 (July 2012)
The Development and Evaluation of Blood Volume Measuring System for Blood Culture Quality Improvement
The blood volume is the most important factor affecting the sensitivity of blood cultures. However, there has not been a system for measuring blood volume prior to starting the blood culture process. The aim of this study is to develop a blood volume measuring system and to evaluate its usability in a clinical setting. A system for measuring blood volume in a culture bottle using digital scales was designed. The suggested system was installed and evaluated in the Department of Laboratory Medicine. During the 13-month period, the weight of blood bottles before inoculation and blood volumes in 113 564 blood culture bottles were analyzed. The weight differences between bottles were up to 12 g and about 9 g for bottles distributed by BACTEC and bioMérieux, respectively. Of the 113 564 aforementioned bottles, 96 661 cultures were analyzed from patients over the ages of 18. After the application of blood volume measuring systems, the adequate blood volume submission ratio increased from 4.9 % to about 10 %. After the intervention, the proportions of bottles for adequate submissions showed an increasing trend. In routine clinical practice, providing regular feedback and education regarding the adequate blood volumes for culture to clinicians and nurses would be a good way to maintain quality of the blood culture results and to reduce culture bottles being submitted with an inadequate amount of sample.