Pathology Handbook

Sputum

Request Form 

Request on ICE or on Cytopathology request form

Availability

On request

Specimen transport

Specimens should be sent to the laboratory as soon as possible after collection.  Outside laboratory hours, specimens can be left in the post box outside the pathology reception on the first floor of the tower block

Specimen

Specimens should be collected on three consecutive days.  These should be expectorated early in the day before eating, drinking or cleaning teeth.  Specimens contaminated with food particles are not helpful to the assessment.  Send the specimens daily.  Do not save until all three are collected.

Sputum should not be sent on the 12 days following bronchoscopy.  If a patient suspected of lung cancer is fit for bronchoscopy, then it is unnecessary to send sputum for cytology.

Container

The specimen should be collected in a sputum pot:

Large white top universal

Turnround times

Reports are normally issued between 4-6 days of receipt.  Samples requiring extra work may take longer, please contact the lab for further information on delayed reports.