You know when the doctor asks you for a test? It might be a urine test to try and eliminate a potential disease, for example. They’ll normally give you a set of instructions about how to go about this. This is because medical samples are affected in all sorts of ways, and you might just ruin them if you’re not careful.
Samples: What You Need To Know
Today, we’re focusing on three different types of samples that you might give. All of them have different characteristics, and can be affected in different ways. Samples can go wrong in the easiest of fashions. It might be the temperature, for which some need cold conditions, and others need water baths to stay warm. It might be bacteria contamination, which can totally destroy the results. Ultimately, there’s a lot of factors involved.
Let’s start with blood tests, and this is something that is largely under the control of the medical practitioner involved. After all, you’re not required to go home and take samples for yourself in most cases. But, depending on the type of test you’re required to undertake, you might be asked to do a few things.
Firstly, some blood tests require you to stop eating or drinking anything but water for a period of hours. Failing to do this will tamper with the results. Alternatively, taking pills or tablets might tinker with them, as will drinking alcohol in any form.
Urine tests are a little different and require you to go about taking them in a sensible manner. You’ll be given a container to get the job done, but there are a few things you still might need to know. Firstly, your doctor might suggest that you take it at a certain time of day. Secondly, you’ll often need to get what is referred to as a ‘mid-stream’ sample. The reason for this is bacteria can contaminate the sample if you don’t follow these rules.
Once the sample has been taken, it needs to be stored at a certain temperature in the fridge. Failing to do this will potentially result in a multiplication of bacteria, ruining the results of the sample.
We’re not going to get too graphic with this one, don’t worry! Stool samples work quite similarly to urine tests, but they come with greater considerations. Most importantly, you need to make sure the sample doesn’t touch the inside of the toilet, rendering it useless. It’s suggested in most cases that stool samples are handed in as quickly as possible. The reason for this is that they are required to stay fresh, and even refrigerating them won’t help in some cases. If for any reason you can’t hand it in immediately, it’s worth giving your doctor a call to find out what steps you should take.
So there you go. Hopefully, we’ve been able to open your eyes a little further to how carefully monitored your samples should be. Making sure they’re collected properly means you’ll benefit from accurate test results.