Effective Ways to Store a Stool Sample for Medical Testing

When it comes to medical testing, one of the most common requests is for a stool sample. While it may seem like a daunting task, collecting and storing a stool sample is actually quite simple. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about how to store a stool sample correctly.

Why Collect Stool Samples?

Before discussing how to store a stool sample, let’s first understand why we collect them in the first place. A stool analysis can provide valuable information regarding digestive health and detect any underlying issues such as infections or inflammation.

Types of Stool Tests

There are different types of tests that require stools samples such as fecal occult blood test (FOBT), fecal immunochemical test (FIT) and parasitic examination (Ova & Parasites). Depending on the type of test required by your physician, there may be specific instructions provided on how to collect and prepare the sample.

The Process of Collecting A Stool Sample

The process of collecting a stool sample is pretty straightforward:

1. Begin by obtaining an appropriate container from your doctor or laboratory.

  • This container will have clear instructions printed on it.
  • If possible use disposable containers that come with lids which would save some hassle in transferring samples.

2. Make sure that you have access to toilet paper before starting.

3. When passing bowel movements try not to contaminate urine with feces.

4. Once finished taking bowel movement, remove lid from specimen container

5. Using spoon attached with cap take small amount into scoop-like spoon

6. Carefully transfer it into the jar/container

7.Cover tightly both inner lid and outer cover

8.Store at home fridge between +4C – +8C and deliver it to the lab within 24 hours

Storing A Stool Sample

Once collected, it is important to store the stool sample correctly. Improper storage can lead to tainted results, which can lead to misdiagnosis or delayed treatment.

The ideal temperature for storing a stool sample is between +4°C and +8°C (or in your fridge). Make sure that the container you use has a tight-fitting lid that prevents any air from getting inside. This could cause bacteria growth or other types of contamination.

It’s essential not to freeze a stool sample as this will damage cells potentially changing test results.

Delivering The Sample To The Laboratory

When delivering your sample be mindful about what time you are sending it if drop off points are available at testing facilities.

If there will be delay in delivering samples, place ice packs around the container ensuring its base doesn’t come into contact with them. Ice packs should never touch lids of containers directly.

Make sure you label everything clearly with patient’s name date of collection on outside as well as inside.

At delivery point hand over only outer cover leaving only inner lid attached containing specimen so that maintain freshness until actual testing begins.

In conclusion, collecting and storing a stool sample might sound intimidating but following these simple guidelines make things easier both for patients and clinical staffs who handle them afterwards. Always seek medical advice before attempting anything mentioned above since different tests have different requirements regarding duration, amounts needed etc..

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