Sputum (Culture and Sensitivity)

Before You Start...

  • A good quality sputum sample is required. Poor quality specimens will be rejected and a repeat requested.

Step 1
It is very important that the sputum is the material coughed up from the lungs, and not saliva “spit” from the mouth, or mucous from the back of the throat.

Step 2
The best quality sample is usually obtained early in the morning upon rising, but samples collected at other times of the day are also acceptable.

  • Food should not be ingested for 1-2 hours prior to collection.
  • Mouth should be rinsed out with water or saline prior to collection.
  • Patient should breathe and cough deeply.

Step 3
Wash and dry your hands thoroughly.

Step 4
Remove the lid on the STERILE container and set it aside.

Step 5
After a big cough, collect the sputum into the provided container.

Step 6
Replace the lid and tighten firmly.

Step 7
Wash and dry your hands thoroughly after collection.

Step 8
Label the container with the patient’s first and last name, MCP, and the date and time of collection of the sample.

Step 9
For sanitary reasons, the container must be enclosed in a plastic biohazard bag.

Refrigerate the sputum sample and deliver to the Laboratory as soon as possible.

The sample must arrive at the Laboratory within 24 hours of collection, during normal hours of operation; 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Separate samples are required for routine culture, AFB or Mycology and Cytology.

You must present you MCP and your requisition to the Laboratory Personnel.