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Sputum sample collection

Your doctor has requested that you have a test on a sputum sample.

Sputum forms on the lungs and is typically a thick consistency coloured yellow to green. It is different from saliva, which is clear and colourless.

Collecting your sample

For this test it is important that sputum, not saliva, is collected.

  1. Cough deeply to produce a sputum sample and spit this into the sterile collection container provided.
  2. Firmly screw down the lid of the container.
  3. Label the container with your full name and date of birth, the time and date of collection.
  4. Deliver the sample to the laboratory or collection centre at the address on the back of the form.
  5. If more than one sample is required, collect on consecutive days and deliver it to the laboratory each day.

Contact your preferred collection centre or your referring doctor if you have any questions about collecting a sputum sample.

Need more information?

Sputum culture at Lab Tests online

QIS document number: 10812

Last updated: 12 October 2020