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Laboratory: Clinical Microbiology
Test Name:
Test Code: None
Clinical Information:
Test Indications:
A patient diagnosed with a lower respiratory tract infection.

Patient Preparation Instructions:
Do NOT have the patient rinse their mouth and gargle with nonsterile water prior to sputum collection.
Instruct the patient not to expectorate saliva or postnasal discharge into sterile container.  Then instruct the patient to cough deeply to produce a lower respiratory specimen.
Collection Devices:
Specimen Required: Sputum (expectorate only).
Adult:  5-10 mL of sputa required.
Pediatric: For pediatric patients unable to produce a specimen, a respiratory therapist should collect a specimen via suction.

Sputum samples containers should be placed into biohazard bags prior to transport to minimize contamination of the external environment if leakage occurs during transport.
If shipping is required, transport on (wet) ice using Transport of Dangerous Goods recommendations for diagnostic samples.
Testing Laboratory (MB): Health Science Center, St. Boniface General Hosp., Westman Lab and The Pas
Mycobacterial and Legionella culture is referred to HSC.  See respective headings.
Reference Values:
Presence of bacterial pathogen(s), or presence of normal respiratory flora.
Method of Analysis:  Growth on respiratory culture media.
See Also:
More Information:
Specimen Handling:
Transport to the laboratory as soon as possible since samples are not placed in buffered transport media..
Store sputum specimens at 2-8°C until samples can be transported or processed by the laboratory.