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Preparation for laboratory tests

Preparation for a blood test

  • overnight fasting is required for most tests - on the day prior to the test you should eat a light supper - do not consume alcoholic beverages - avoid any extensive physical exercise since it may affect your test results (e.g. a decreased level of glucose, cholesterol and triglycerides, or an increased level of protein, creatinine, uric acid, phosphates and muscle enzymes such as CK and ASPAT) - fasting is not required for hormone tests - tests for sex hormones are performed on a suitable day of your cycle and upon consulting your doctor - for a glucose tolerance test you need your doctor's orders specifying the amount of glucose (e.g. 50g, 70g) as well as the number of times the blood should be drawn (e.g. 2,3,4) - if you take medications that might influence the tested parameter – consult your doctor and inform the laboratory

Preparation for a urine test

  • collect the first morning urine after thoroughly cleaning the urinary opening - catch the mid-portion of the urine flow in the collection container - collected urine should be returned in a sterile container (approx. 50-100ml) - the container should be labelled with patient's full name, date of birth, and date and time of collection - return the urine to the laboratory in less than 3 hours - to collect a urine sample from an infant, you can use a special plastic bag which should be stuck to the skin so as to fit over the baby's genital area - the bag should be placed on the infant in the morning - do not place the bag in the evening since the bacteria will grow in warm urine overnight and lead to a misinterpretation of the test result; what is more, the bag might get misplaced or cause sore skin - do not return the urine wrung from the infant's diaper - due to problems with collecting the urine in infants, a specimen of 50ml is sufficient - plastic bags for collecting urine in infants can be purchased in TOP MEDICAL CLINIC - the urine from the bag should not be poured into the container; instead, the bag should be taped and placed vertically in the container

Urine for culture

  • the urine should be collected into a sterile container - when opening the lid, be careful not to contaminate the container - do not collect urine for culture into sterilized jars or pots, only to a sterile container purchased in a pharmacy - the urine for culture must be returned to the laboratory within 2 hours of collection - the urine for culture should be collected before the first dose of antibiotic or other medications used for treating renal and urinary conditions, as it might affect the test results and, consequently, the treatment

Throat swab

  • before a throat swab, fasting is required - do not wash your mouth and teeth before the specimen collection - before the collection you may rinse your mouth with pre-boiled water - you should not have anything to eat or drink 3 hours before the collection, so as not to mechanically remove any disease-causing microorganisms from the mucosa

Ear, eye, skin and wound swabs

  • do not use any eye drops and ointments, especially those containing antibiotics or bacterial inhibitors, as they may affect the test results - make sure you carefully wash your genital area before a cervical or urethral swab - do not use any ointments, vaginal globules, spermicidal gels etc. prior to the swab - the swab should be done at least 3 hours after urinating since urine might wash out disease-causing microorganisms and they will be impossible to grow, despite the ongoing infection

Stool for culture

  • a small amount of stool (the size of a hazelnut) collected from different areas of stool, especially bloody, slimy, or 1-2 ml in the case of watery stool, should be placed in a sterile container Special containers with a scooper are available in every pharmacy. Stool sample for culture can be refrigerated for a few hours. Other stool tests should be performed after a previous diet and be consulted with your doctor.