II. Technique: Obtaining a Sputum sample

  1. Mouth should be free of foreign objects
    1. Remove food, gum, or Tobacco
    2. Remove dentures
  2. Early morning specimen is best
  3. Induce Sputum if necessary
    1. Nebulized Hypertonic Saline or distilled water
    2. Chest percussion
    3. Postural drainage
  4. Cough into sterile specimen cup

III. Approach: Special Circumstances

  1. Tuberculosis suspected
    1. Sputum collected in negative pressure room
    2. Early morning gastric aspirate
    3. Bronchoscopy with Bronchial lavage
  2. Anaerobic culture specimen
    1. Transtracheal aspiration
    2. Thoracentesis
    3. Direct lung puncture
  3. Viral Culture Specimens
    1. Patient gargles and expectorates with nutrient broth
    2. Nasopharyngeal swab transported in viral medium

IV. Preparation: Sputum for Lab

  1. Fixation of Sputum for cytology (prevents air drying)
    1. Patient expectorates into jar of 70% Ethanol
    2. Spread fresh Sputum on slide and spray pap fixative
  2. Culture specimen transport to lab
    1. Sputum Gram Stain assesses sample for adequacy
    2. Anaerobic cultures transported in air tight container
      1. Transport to lab for immediate plating
    3. Aerobic culture specimen
      1. Bring to lab as quickly as possible
      2. Refrigerate specimen if transport delayed
      3. Consider washing specimen of oral flora
        1. Rinse several times with saline
        2. Discard supernatant (non-viscous Saliva)
    4. Tuberculosis culture
      1. May be stored at room Temperature for up to 48 hour

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Related Studies

Ontology: Abnormal sputum (C0159054)

Concepts Finding (T033)
ICD9 786.4
ICD10 R09.3 , R84
SnomedCT 207072005, 207077004, 158388005, 158392003, 145213001, 274708000, 167986000
English Abnormal sputum NOS, [D]Abnormal sputum (context-dependent category), [D]Abnormal sputum NOS (context-dependent category), [D]Abnormal sputum, [D]Abnormal sputum NOS, Sputum abnormal NOS, abnormal findings in sputum, Abnormal;sputum, [D]Abnormal sputum (situation), [D]Abnormal sputum NOS (situation), Sputum examination: abnormal (situation), Sputum abnormal, Abnormal sputum, Sputum examination: abnormal, Abnormal sputum (finding), Sputum examination: abnormal (finding), Sputum/phlegm abnormal, abnormal; sputum, abnormality; sputum, sputum; abnormal, abnormal sputum
Italian Espettorato anormale, Espettorato anormale NAS
Dutch sputum abnormaal NAO, abnormaal sputum, Abnormaal sputum/slijm, abnormaal; sputum, afwijking; sputum, sputum; abnormaal, Afwijkend sputum, sputum abnormaal
French Expectoration anormale SAI, Expectoration anormale
German anomales Sputum, Sputum anomal NNB, Abnormes Sputum, Sputum anomal
Portuguese Expectoração anormal NE, Expectoração anormal
Spanish Esputo anormal NEOM, [D]esputo anormal (categoría dependiente del contexto), [D]esputo anormal, SAI (categoría dependiente del contexto), [D]esputo anormal, SAI, [D]esputo anormal, SAI (situación), [D]esputo anormal (situación), [D]esputo anormal, esputo anormal (hallazgo), esputo anormal, examen del esputo: anormal (hallazgo), examen del esputo: anormal, Esputo anormal
Japanese 喀痰異常, 喀痰異常NOS, カッタンイジョウ, カクタンイジョウ, カクタンイジョウNOS, カッタンイジョウNOS
Czech Abnormální sputum, Sputum abnormální, Sputum abnormální NOS
Korean 가래 이상
Hungarian Kóros köpet, Köpet kóros k.m.n., Köpet kóros

Ontology: Sputum specimen (C0444159)

Concepts Body Substance (T031)
SnomedCT 119334006
English samples sputum, specimens sputum, sputum specimen, sputum sample, Sputum sample, Sputum specimen (specimen), Sputum specimen
Spanish espécimen de esputo (espécimen), espécimen de esputo, muestra de esputo