Urine Samples

Which sample you should & you could send

  • Mid-stream urine, urine collected from urinary catheter port not bag bladder washout samples, cystoscopy urine, nephrostomy tube urines, bag urine from infants, suprapubic aspirate (please also see links above).
  • For mycobacterial culture a normal universal container suffices (s. picture). Early morning urine - defined as the first pass urine of the day - should be collected into 3 separate containers over 3 consecutive days.
  • 24 hr urine collections or pooled urine samples are not acceptable Please only send one sample of urine per day
  • Some antigen detection tests (e.g. legionella or pneumococcal urinary antigen) should be sent in a sterile universal container Urines for virology(CMV or BK virus PCR should be sent in a universal container.

How to Collect the Sample

  • Collect approximately 20-30mL of urine to fill the universal containers. Urine can be collected from a variety of sites (Mid-stream specimen of urine - MSSU - , catheter urine, bag urine from young children, nephrostomy tube urine, suprapubic aspirates of urines to mention a few).
  • MSSU samples are prone to contamination and the patient has to be instructed to cleanse the area of the urethra thoroughly with soap and water before collecting after voiding the initial portion of urine. This reduces the contamination rate greatly.
  • Indicators of contamination are presence of epithelial cells or absence of white cells or pyuria. The cell count is found on the final report.

Labelling

  • See Pathology Sample Labelling Policy. Label the specimen with patient information (First Name, Surname, DoB, location, physician, time and date) and also fill in those details on the request form.
  • On request form indicate the investigations required (e.g. M/C&S, OCP when requesting ova investigation to rule out schistosomiasis on terminal void urine collection).
  • A good history on the request form helps the laboratory tremendously (e.g. "not on antibiotics....urinalysis positive" or "on 3 days of trimethoprim still urinary symptoms").
  • Simply recording dipstick results without other clinical information is NOT acceptable.

Which Container does it go in?

 Image of sterile urine container

White capped sterile universal containers are free of additives. Red capped containers contain boric acid to preserve the urine if delay in transport anticipated. Early morning urine for Mycobacterium tuberculosis can be collected in a white capped universal container.

Transport

  • If the specimen is not transported immediately for bacterial culture refrigerate.
  • Delay in transit can lead to a false positive result.
 

Page Reviewed: 08/12/10 | Updated by: Kevin Roberts