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Respiratory Samples for Culture (Bacteriology)

General information

Collection container (including preservatives):

Respiratory samples culture B

Specimen type: Bronchial aspirate, transthoracic aspirate, bronchoalveolar lavage, transtracheal aspirate, bronchial brushings, protected catheter specimens, bronchial washings, endotracheal tube specimens, sputum - expectorated

Collection: All specimens should be fresh and taken before antimicrobial treatment is started.

Specimen transport: If processing is delayed, refrigeration is preferable to storage at ambient temperature. Delays of over 48hr are undesirable.

Minimum volume of sample: 1 mL

Special precautions: Please send to the laboratory without delay

Laboratory information

Measurement units: Not applicable

Biological reference units: Not applicable

Turn round time for provisional result (working days): 2 days

Turn round time to final result (working days): 2-3 days

Sputum investigation requiring fungal investigation is up to 7 days

Clinical information

Clinical decision points: Not applicable

Factors known to significantly affect the results: All samples are suitable for overnight refrigeration only, they must not be stored over a weekend. Sputum may be refrigerated for up to 2-3 h without an appreciable loss of pathogens. Any delay beyond this time may allow overgrowth of Gram-negative bacilli, and Haemophilus species and S. pneumoniae may be rendered non-viable


(Last reviewed October 24th 2017)