Patient Specimen Collection Instructions: Stool Specimens for Ova and Parasite Giardia and Crytopsporidium Testing

NOTE: The patient should be instructed not to take antacids, oily laxatives, or antidiarrheal medication unless prescribed by a physician, prior to the collection of the sample(s). Radiological examinations utilizing contrast chemicals (e.g., bismuth, barium) should be avoided prior to collection of the fecal specimen for parasite analysis.

  1. You have been asked to collect a stool sample for laboratory analysis. The collection set may contain 1, 2, or 3 vials. If multiple specimens must be collected, collect on consecutive days, not on the same day. The vials will contain liquid. NOTE: The liquids are poisonous. Do not drink or pour out liquid. Keep out of the reach of children or pets.

  2. IMPORTANT: Please wash hands before beginning the procedure.
    DO NOT pass the specimen into the toilet.
    DO NOT pass the specimen directly into the collection vial.
    DO NOT urinate on the specimen or into the collection vial.
    DO NOT allow any water to mix with the specimen.

  3. Collect the stool specimen (bowel movement) in any clean, dry wide-mouth container, bedpan, or on a plastic plate or clean newspaper, plastic bag, or clean diaper. This prevents the fecal specimen from falling into the toilet bowl. Collection device (e.g. diaper, newspaper, bedpan) must not be sent to the laboratory. The stool sample must be transferred to the appripriate transport device(s) before being sent to the laboratory.

  4. Carefully open the TotalFix vial (ova and parasite testing only) and/or C&S Medium (Cryptosporidium, Giardia and culture). 

  5. Using the spoon attached to cap, add approximately three spoonfuls of firm stool, or five spoonfuls of soft stool, to each vial. It is important to sample areas of the specimen which appear bloody, slimy, or watery. If the stool is firm, sample small amounts from each end and the middle of the specimen. Fill each vial with enough specimen so that the liquid reaches the “fill line” located on the label.

    NOTE: Hard stools are not acceptable for routine culture.

  6. Thoroughly mix the specimen and the liquid in the vial using the spatula. Fill only one vial at a time and replace the spoon/cap onto the same vial it came from. Do not mix spoons/caps with other vials.
  7. Replace the spoon/cap and close tightly.
  8. Shake each vial until the specimen is well mixed with the liquid in the vial.
  9. Label the vials with:
    1. Patient name, medical record number and/or date of birth.
    2. Date and time specimen was collected.
    3. Specimen number if more than one specimen was taken, for example #1, #2, and #3.
    4. Check the box that best describes your stool sample.
    5. Please note on the label if specimen is bloody.

  10. Place the vial(s) in the original package and seal securely. Store and transport specimens at 2-8oC (refrigerated). Return specimen(s) to the laboratory as soon as possible.

  11. Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water.

  12. IMPORTANT: If any liquid from the vial or stool specimen gets into your eyes or on your skin, rinse the area with plenty of water. If any discomfort or irritation develops, contact a physician.

    ANTIDOTE IF SWALLOWED: Give plenty of milk or water. Follow with a tablespoon of salt in a glass of warm water and repeat until the vomit is clear. Contact a physician or local poison control center IMMEDIATELY.

Alpha-Tec Product Insert. Directions for Stool Specimen Collection Set. 2005.

Locations  |    Search  |    Site Map |   Contact Us

©2000-2019 Geisinger Health System.   All rights reserved.