|Investigation||Culture and sensitivity|
Gram stain if required
|Inform lab before sending||No (unless urgent)|
|Specimen type||Sputum, BALs and Tracheal Aspirates|
|Ideal time to take specimen||see above|
||Sterile leak proof container
Please note that Bronchial lavages (BAL) specimens MUST NOT be sent with the ‘tube lids’. These ‘BAL’ tube lids are prone to leakage, and constitute an unacceptable level of infection risk to porters and other staff. ‘Tube lids’ MUST be replaced with a proper sealed specimen lid.
Please note that sputum pots with metal lids are generally less inclined to suffer leakage than sputum pots with plastic lids. Metal lids on large diameter specimen pots seal more effectively. Plastic lids have been known to loosen and leak if the pot is subject to temperature changes before reaching the laboratory.
|Labelling requirements||click here|
|Transport to the laboratory||If transport is delayed then refrigerate sample. Delays of over 48 hours are undesirable|
|Turnround||48 - 72 hours (Where fungal culture is requested this may be extended to 14 days)|
|Additional information||Please ensure that all request forms are clearly labelled with patient details, relevant clinical information and the tests required|
|Specimen retention||Please ensure that any requests for additional investigations on the specimen are made within 7 days from the date of the original request|