The blood culture bottles have arrived safely (see earlier blog) and are loaded on an automated incubator, which uses that barcode you now know not to peel off! How long it takes to signal positive depends on the type of organism, some take longer than others. Routinely negative blood cultures are destroyed after 5 days. That is really unhelpful if your patient has a slow growing microorganism or possible infective endocarditis. Did you write those details on the request form? If you did then the blood cultures will be incubated for up to 14 days.
The clinical details also help the laboratory decide how to safety process the blood cultures after they have signalled positive. So if you forgot to add the possibility of a high risk specimen e.g. typhoid or paratyphoid, you risk exposing the biomedical scientist handling the positive culture to a potential pathogen...blood-borne viruses, tuberculosis, shigellosis, salmonellosis, E.coli O157, Neisseria meningitidis, brucellosis, etc. Surely, being too busy to add these clinical details is negligent to your colleagues in the laboratory?