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Collecting urine cultures from children and teens

 

At times the doctor may need to check your child’s urine for bacteria (germs that can cause infection). To perform this test, a sample of your child’s urine must be collected. Sometimes a nurse or nursing care assistant will collect the sample. Other times you might be asked to gather the sample. You will be taught how to do this, and the information below can help you remember all the steps. Teenage patients can usually follow these steps on their own.

Clean before collecting

Bacteria are always present in the genital area. These bacteria can contaminate (dirty) a urine sample, which can lead to false test results. For this reason, it is very important to clean this area well before collecting a urine sample. The following steps will help you collect a clean urine sample.

Supplies needed

  • Computer printed labels that have the patient’s name and hospital ID number
  • A bottle of hexachlorophene 3% (known as pHisoHex®, a sudsing antibacterial skin cleanser)
  • Sterile gauze sponges (4x4), 7 for girls, 9 for boys
  • Sterile water
  • Sterile collection cup
  • Plastic ziplock bag
  • Non-sterile gloves

How to collect urine samples from a girl

  1. In words your child can understand, tell her what you are going to do (clean her “private area” and collect a sample).
  2. Wash your hands with antibacterial soap (any soap that says deodorant or antimicrobial). Dry hands well. See “Do you know… Clean hands” for details.
  3. Put on the non-sterile gloves.
  4. Have your child lie on her back with her legs spread. Give her as much privacy as needed.
  5. Clean the outside genital area with sterile 4x4 gauze sponges dipped in pHisoHex®. Wash each side of the vulva (each skinfold) first. Then clean the periurethral area (where the urine comes out).
    • Wipe from front to back, never the reverse.
    • Use each sponge for only one (1) wipe.
  6. Using new gauze sponges and sterile water, wash off the pHisoHex® from the vulva using the same process as above.
  7. Dry the vulva with one (1) gauze, wiping front to back.
  8. Now let your child sit or stand over the toilet or collection container (hat) to urinate. Let a little of the urine go into the toilet (or hat). Then, catch the rest of the urine in the sterile collection cup. This is called a midstream specimen. (Do not touch the inside of the cup.)
  9. Put the top on the collection cup. Stick the computer label to the cup. Place the cup in the plastic ziplock bag.
  10. Remove the gloves. Wash and dry your hands.
  11. Give the urine sample to your child’s nurse or nursing care assistant as soon as you can. The sample must be sent to the lab within 30 minutes of being collected, or it will have to be thrown out and a new sample collected.

How to collect urine samples from a boy

  1. In words your child can understand, tell him what you are going to do (clean his “private area” and collect a sample).
  2. Wash your hands with antibacterial soap (any soap that says deodorant or antimicrobial). Dry hands well. See “Do you know… Clean hands” for detailed guidelines.
  3. Put on the non-sterile gloves.
  4. Have your child lie on his back or stand with his legs spread. Give him as much privacy as needed.
  5. Pull back his foreskin (if he has one) so you can clean the surface of the penis well with sterile 4x4 gauze sponges dipped in pHisoHex®. Clean the area at least 4 times using a new sponge each time.
  6. Using new gauze sponges and sterile water, wash off the pHisoHex®.
  7. Dry the area with one (1) gauze sponge.
  8. Now let your child sit or stand over the toilet or collection container (hat) to urinate. Let a little of the urine go into the toilet (or hat). Then, catch the rest of the urine in the sterile collection cup. This is called a midstream specimen. (Do not touch the inside of the cup.)
  9. Put the top on the collection cup. Stick the computer label to the cup. Place the cup in the plastic ziplock bag.
  10. Remove the gloves. Wash and dry your hands.
  11. Give the urine sample to your child’s nurse or nursing care assistant as soon as you can. The sample must be sent to the lab within 30 minutes of being collected, or it will have to be thrown out and a new sample collected.

Questions?

If you have questions or concerns about your child having a nerve block injection or infusion for pain relief, please talk to the doctor or nurse. If your child is an outpatient, call 901-595-3300 and ask for the anesthesiologist on call. If you are outside the Memphis area, dial toll-free 1-866-2STJUDE (1-866-278- 5833), and press 0 when the call connects.


 

This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.

St. Jude complies with health care-related federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

ATTENTION: If you speak another language, assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

ATENCIÓN: si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

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