We compared the Oxoid Signal bottle (Oxoid, U.S.A.) with supplemented peptone broth (SPB) tubes (B-D) Vacutainer; Becton Dickinson Vacutainer Systems) for performing blood cultures in a pediatric hospital. Blood from 3,066 samples was divided equally between the two systems. Of 131 probable pathogens isolated, 121 were detected in the Signal bottle and 111 were detected in the SPB tubes (P > 0.05). Of 167 probable contaminants, 122 grew in the Signal bottle and 109 grew in the SPB tubes (P > 0.05). The recovery of staphylococci, both probable pathogens and probable contaminants, was increased in the Signal bottle. The recoveries of other organisms, including streptococci, members of the family Enterobacteriaceae, and yeasts, were similar in the two systems. However, the Signal bottle failed to detect three isolates of Haemophilus influenzae, and the time to availability of colonies isolated of other isolates of H. influenzae was delayed. Overall, the Signal bottle was easy and convenient to use, and its innovative detection system should facilitate the early recognition of positive cultures. If its ability to recover H. influenzae can be improved, the Signal bottle could be a useful alternative to existing systems for use in a pediatric setting.