Sputum Culture

  1. Rinsing the mouth with saline or water (but not mouthwash) may reduce contamination with normal oropharyngeal flora.
  2. Encourage a deep cough with expectoration of the sputum into a Sterile Cup (Orange). Culture Swabs are not acceptable for a Sputum Culture.
  3. Do not send saliva for culture.
  4. A small amount of sputum is all that is required, but it must be sputum and not saliva.
  5. Use the bar code label with patient’s name and ID to identify the specimen.
  6. Refrigerate at 2°-8° C.
  7. Due to short stability specimen must be collected and shipped to the laboratory Monday through Friday only.