Proper Collection of Mid Stream Urine’s

Mid stream urine’s also known and MSU’s have specific collection techniques if the specimen is to be not rejected as contaminated or unsuitable for culture. The only confirmatory method for diagnosing Urinary tract infections (UTI) is by culturing the urine specimen. A poorly collected sample may result in this UTI being missed. The presence of squamous epithelial cells is the marker for determining the degree of contamination.

Most medical laboratories use the presence of a certain number of squamous epithelial cells in urine to either accept or reject the specimen. This means that the urine can either be cultured or not. Culture is a confirmatory test for detection of urinary tract infections, depending on what type of bacteria will be cultured.

Below is a brief description on how to collect mid stream urine’s in MALE patients:

The patient should wash his hands with soap and water. Hands should be dried thoroughly.

The person should retract the foreskin and cleanse the glans penis with soap and water.  Repeat this washing procedure twice. Rinse the penis thoroughly with water.

Keeping the foreskin retracted, void the first part of urine into the toilet.  After 5 seconds, collect the midstream part of the urine into the sterile urine container provided. 

Do not collect urine from the toilet or bedpan. Replace cap tightly on the container.  Rinse the outside of the container if urine has spilled down the sides. 

Deliver the specimen immediately to the laboratory. If unable to reach the laboratory within an hour of collection, refrigerate until it can be delivered as soon as possible.  Specimens left unattended for long periods of time will start to grow contaminants and thus be rejected on the grounds of contamination.

Proper collection will ensure a reliable result and avoid unnecessary delays of having to collect another sample. Accurate and timely treatment can be followed.

To prevent delays and incorrect collection techniques, most hospitals will provide patients with written instructions, most frequently accompanied by pictures, on how to void the urine sample. The presence of many squamous epithelial cells is suggestive of a poor quality sample.

If still unsure about the correct procedure, ask for assistance from the nursing or other medical staff.

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