The following collection instructions are intended to help you collect the correct specimen for the test your clinician has requested.
First read the instructions carefully, and then follow each of the steps to ensure proper preparation requirements are met.
You may be required to fast before having a blood test since
- Certain test values are best assessed in the basal state and can change dramatically by ingestion of food thus leading to erroneous diagnoses eg blood glucose, cholesterol
- You may be required to have a meal and then tested after the required timed interval e.g. 2hrpp blood glucose
- Other specific timed tests are done at specific times of day e.g. cortisol levels
If you are asked to fast for your test, you should follow the following instructions for a minimum of 12 hours prior to having your test done:
- Do not eat anything – most people find it convenient to stop eating and drinking after 8:00 PM and to arrive at the laboratory at the routine 8am at on the next day.
- Do not drink any juice, tea, coffee coconut water or alcohol. You are only allowed to drink water.
- Do not smoke, chew gum, or exercise. These activities may stimulate the digestive system and alter test results
- Do not exercise
- Continue to take your medication unless your doctor tells you not to
After the specimen is collected, you may resume your normal activities and diet
It is essential that this procedure be followed very carefully. Test results are based on the total amount of tested substance excreted by your body over a 24-hour period. The results provided to your clinician depend upon the collection of all urine excreted during an entire 24-hour period.
For some tests there are dietary and drug restrictions. Check with your clinician or the laboratory before beginning the specimen collection. You may drink as much fluid as you normally would during the 24-hour collection period.
- Obtain the proper 24 hour urine container for the test requested. DO NOT remove any liquid preservative that may be in the container. Note any warnings or instructions, which may be printed on the outside of the urine container.
- Write your full name and date of birth on the container label.
- DO NOT void directly into the 24 hour container. Collect urine in another container and pour it into the 24 hour container.
- First thing in the morning at a designated time (for example 7:00 AM) completely empty your bladder and DISCARD this first morning specimen. Record the ‘exact’ start time and date on the container.
- Collect ALL specimens during the remainder of the day, evening and night for the entire 24-Hour period and add ALL the specimens to the container. Gently shake the container after each urine specimen is added. Keep the urine container refrigerated during the collection period and until you bring it to the laboratory for testing.
- Exactly 24 hours later (for example 7:00 a.m.) completely empty your bladder and add this specimen to the container. This is the last specimen and completes your 24-hour collection.
- Record the ‘exact’ end time on the container. If you have a requisition, write the date and time on the requisition.
- Replace the cap and tighten it firmly.
- Refrigerate the specimen until you can bring it to the laboratory. Bring specimens to the laboratory as soon as possible.
If you were on a special diet for this test, you may resume your normal diet after the specimen is collected.
Early morning urine specimens are preferred; although urine collected at other times of the day are acceptable. A “mid – stream clean catch” urine sample is necessary for a culture ensuring that any bacteria present around the urethra and on the hands do not contaminate the specimen.
- Use an approved empty sealed sterile container for collection.
- Complete the information requested on the container label. Make sure you include your full name, date of birth, the date and time you collected the specimen. If you have a requisition, note the date and time on the requisition
- Wash and dry your hands thoroughly.
- Remove the container cap and set it aside. Do not touch inner surfaces of container.
- Wash your urogenital area (“lower parts”) with the towelette provided. Women – wipe from front to back between the folds of skin; men – retract the foreskin (if un-circumcised), and clean the glans (head of the penis)
- The intent is to collect a sample midway through the urination process (hence the name “midstream” urine).
- Pass a small amount of urine into the toilet, (women, hold skin folds apart) as this initial stream of urine may be contaminated with skin and urethral bacteria.
- Midway through urination, urinate into the container. The container should only be 1/2 to 2/3 full
- Remove and void remaining urine into the toilet
- Replace the cap and tighten firmly
- Remember to wash your hands well after collecting the specimen
- Keep the urine sample refrigerated and submit to the laboratory as soon as possible, preferably within 1 hour of collection.
The occult blood test looks for very small amounts of blood in your stool. Do not collect specimens during or until three (3) days after your menstrual period, or while you have bleeding hemorrhoids or blood in your urine.
Before You Start:
- Continue to eat your normal diet and take your regular prescribed medications.
- For three (3) days before and during the stool collection period do not take Vitamin C supplements and limit your intake of citrus fruits to one fruit or ½ cup of juice per day
Avoid iron supplements that contain Vitamin C.
- Do not have sex or masturbate for 48 hours before collecting the sample
- Abstain from sex or masturbation for no more than 4 days as intervals that exceed 4 days result in increased sperm concentrations with a decrease in motile and viable forms
- Using the container provided (hard plastic as the use of a soft plastic container may reduce the viability and motility of spermatozoa) produce the specimen by masturbation, collecting the entire ejaculate directly into the container
- Seal the container immediately after specimen collection; make sure that the lid is on properly and tightly
- Clearly label the container with your full name and date of birth
The specimen must be kept at body temperature by carrying it close to the body until it is delivered to the laboratory with 1 hour of collection.