Acceptable Specimens for Bacteriologic
Analysis of Wounds
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Wounds: order "wound culture"
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.
Wounds: order "abscess culture"
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).
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.
culture: order "anaerobic culture"
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.
Clean and debride the
Clean surface with
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.
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.
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.