FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is a clean catch urine specimen?
When a doctor asks for a clean catch urine specimen, they are requesting a urine sample that is carefully collected so that it avoids any of the bacteria or germs found within the penis or vagina. The easiest way to do this is with a sterile specimen cup or sterile specimen container. These containers or kits typically contain sterile wipes to clean the genital area before the urine is released, which helps to limit cross-contamination of bacteria. After collection, every effort should be made not to touch the lid or rim of the container, to avoid any bacteria from the hands getting into the specimen.
How long is a urine sample good for?
Most of the time, a urine sample is collected at a doctor’s office and used right away so the technicians can examine it within an hour. If you’re asked to provide a specimen at home and bring it into the doctor’s office, it should be collected using a basic specimen cup within 48 hours of your appointment. If you’re keeping it for that length of time, make sure to store it in the refrigerator. However, as much as you can, try to collect your sample within an hour or two of your appointment time.
Do urine samples need to be refrigerated?
If a urine sample is going to be held for longer than an hour, it should be refrigerated. In a fridge, it can be kept for up to 48 hours. In some cases, doctors recommend wrapping your sterile specimen container in a plastic grocery or zip-top bag while it’s in the fridge to further limit bacterial contamination.
How do I collect a stool sample?
There are many different ways to collect a stool sample, depending on your preferences. Most people find it easier to expel their stool into a clean container, specimen collector pan, or even a piece of plastic put down over the bowl of the toilet. Then, you would use a clean implement to move the stool from the container or plastic to the sterile specimen cup you got from your physician. During this process, try not to touch the stool with your bare hands, and do not let it touch the toilet bowl or water.
What can be detected in a stool sample?
There is a lot of information that can be gained from stool analysis. Commonly, a doctor will use a stool sample to test for gastrointestinal abnormalities, diseases, or infections. It can also be examined and tested for blood that could indicate an anal fissure, pre-cancerous polyps, and other conditions.
How do you collect a 24 hour urine specimen?
A 24-hour urine sample is slightly different than a traditional urine sample because it tests all the urine a patient produces over 24 hours. Typically, it is used to test kidney function. During this time, you would use a specimen collection pan to catch all the urine you produce in a day, then transfer it to one or more sterile specimen cups. These cups should always be kept in the refrigerator, to ensure they’re as fresh as possible for analysis.
What is the purpose of a sputum specimen?
Sputum is the fluid that coats the airways leading to the lungs and is produced by the lungs themselves. It can be tested to determine if there is an infection present in the lungs or airways. It can also help doctors determine whether an ongoing treatment plan is working, or whether the infection that was previously diagnosed has gotten worse. Typically, a sputum specimen is collected by coughing deeply into a specimen collection cup.
MEDICAL ADVICE DISCLAIMER
The information, including but not limited to text, graphics, images, charts, and any other material on this site, is intended for informational purposes only and does not take the place of medical guidance provided by your physician. No information on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult a qualified medical professional about your condition or circumstances before undertaking a new healthcare regimen.