Sputum Specimens for Cytology
Collect into a Sterile Yellow Top Wide Mouth Container
Label containers with patient's full name (given and surname) and date of birth before issuing to the patient
As malignant cells may be shed intermittently, it is best to submit specimens collected over 3 successive days to increase the chances of detection.
An early morning specimen is preferred. The sputum should be collected before eating, drinking and brushing of the teeth.
Please instruct the patient to cough up deep sputum, not saliva from the mouth or mucous from the back of the nose.
If difficulty is encountered in producing a sample assistance from a physiotherapist will increase the chances of success.
Specimens should be sent to pathology on the day of collection.
A post bronchoscopy sputum specimen can increase chance of cancer detection.