Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Infect Control. 1993 Apr;21(2):64-9.

Sputum quality: can you tell by looking?

Author information

1
Laboratory Service, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Oklahoma City, OK 73104.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Nurses are responsible for the collection of sputum samples for culture in most institutions, yet they receive little formal training on what a good specimen looks like.

METHODS:

Three hundred thirty-three consecutively collected expectorated sputum samples and tracheal aspirates were examined to determine the relationship of macroscopic specimen appearance (watery, mucoid, mucopurulent) to specimen quality (good, fair, poor).

RESULTS:

Of the expectorated sputum samples, 21% were watery, 65% were mucoid, and 14% were mucopurulent. Sixty-five percent of the expectorated sputum samples were good or fair, regardless of appearance. Eighty-seven percent of mucopurulent expectorated sputum samples were good or fair. In the remaining nonmucopurulent specimens, however, there were no predictable markers of specimen quality.

CONCLUSIONS:

The only specimens that were predictably good were those that were mucopurulent yellow, yellow, or tracheal aspirates.

PMID:
8498696
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center