Laboratory Test Information Guide

Details for Respiratory Culture

Test Name: Respiratory Culture
Alternate Name(s):  
Laboratory: Microbiology (VH)
Specimen Type: Sputum
Tracheal Aspirates (includesTracheostomy and Endotracheal Aspiration)
Bronchial lavage or washings- (minimum of 15 mL required for testing)
Protected bronchial brushes
Throat swab from Cystic Fibrosis patient
Collection Information: Sputum - Have the patient rinse mouth and gargle with water. Instruct the patient not to expectorate saliva or postnasal discharge. Collect an early morning specimen from a deep productive cough. Select blood-stained or purulent portion and send in a sterile container.

Tracheal Aspirations - Aspirate sample into a trap. Transfer to a sterile container.

Bronchial Lavage or Washing (minimum 15 mL) - The specimen is collected in bronchoscopy.

Protected Bronchial Brush - Place the brush in 1 mL of sterile saline.
Test Schedule: Daily
Turnaround time from when specimen
is received in testing laboratory:
2 days
Cystic patients: 4 days
Reference Range:  
Effective Date: 2009-03-26
Revised Date: 2013-12-18
Critical Value:  
Interpretive Comments: Microscopic (gram stain) is included in culture process.

Tracheal aspirates/Sputum (Adult):
If sample shows many epithelial cells, it will not be cultured as this indicates excessive oropharyngeal contamination.
Special Processing:  
Method of Analysis: Culture
Critical Information Required: Indicate if patient has Cystic Fibrosis.
Storage & Shipment: The specimen must be refrigerated.
The specimen must be received within 24 hours of collection.
System Codes: 
Referred To:  

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