For a pneumonia patient, a blood culture indicates what kind of medicine will work best to treat their pneumonia.
Why this is important:
Different types of bacteria can cause pneumonia. A blood culture is a test the healthcare provider uses to indicate which bacteria may have caused your pneumonia, and which antibiotic should be prescribed. It is best to do the blood culture within 24 hours of arrival at the hospital and before antibiotics are started. It is also important to start antibiotics as soon as possible. The blood culture also enables the healthcare provider to determine how to best treat you and if any precautions are necessary to prevent the spread of your illness.
The chart above indicates the percentage of pneumonia patients in the ER that received a blood culture before the first antibiotic was administered.