Specimen Collection Acceptable Specimens for Bacteriologic Analysis of Wounds Superficial Wounds: order "wound culture" Appropriate samples: Aspiration of pus, or local irrigation fluid (using non-bacteriostatic saline), swab of purulence originating beneath the dermis If swabs must be used, collect two, one for culture and one for Gram staining. Inappropriate samples: Swabs of surface material or specimens contaminated with surface material, irrigation fluid with saline containing preservative Deep Wounds: order "abscess culture" Appropriate samples: Tissue obtained by biopsy following cleansing of superficial debris using aseptic approach (3-4 mm punch biopsy specimen is optimal when quantitative cultures are ordered). Superficial necrotic tissues removed by curettage Deep tissues obtained by non-invasive method such as dermabrasion Deep aspirate of surface ulcer, sinus tract obtained by needle and syringe. Inappropriate samples: Specimens contaminated with surface material Anaerobic culture: order "anaerobic culture" Collection: Aspirate/abscess: Clean site by wiping with sterile saline or 70% alcohol. Aspirate the area containing fluid, pus, or exudates by needle and syringe. Irrigation with a small amount of sterile non-bacteriostatic saline may be necessary. Aspirate saline into syringe and expel into a sterile screw cap tube. Tissue: Clean and debride the wound. Clean surface with sterile saline Obtain tissue sample from the deep part of the wound or base of the lesion/wound/ulcer. Never submit swab that has been rubbed over surface of the tissue. Container: Tissue is placed into a sterile screw cup container. You can add several drops of sterile saline to keep small pieces of tissue moist. Alternatively, very small pieces of tissue can be placed into a small square of moist sterile gauze. Aspirate is placed into a sterile container. For anaerobic culture: Samples should be placed into oxygen free environment using anaerobic transport media. Large piece of tissue (< 1 cm3) can be placed only in sterile container without anaerobic transport media.