Patient Preparation

Patient preparation for a blood draw

1) For most tests, it is best to draw blood in the morning between 7 and 10 AM, following a 12-hour fast from the last meal. However, this timing does not apply to certain tests where analyte concentrations change daily or monthly. In these cases, a specific time for blood draw is recommended. For stress hormone tests, resting for 15-30 minutes before the blood draw is necessary.

2) Refrain from intense physical activity 2-3 days prior to the blood draw.

3) Avoid taking medications and supplements that could impact test results, such as iron supplements, vitamins, hormonal therapy, diuretics, and analgesics. Always consult with your doctor before stopping any medications.

4) For those taking oral anticoagulants in the evening (ideally at a consistent time), blood for INR testing should be drawn the following morning.

5) Refrain from alcohol and cigarette use for 12 hours prior to the blood draw.

6) The duration of the OGTT ranges from 120 to 180 minutes.

  • Avoid intense physical activities before the test.
  • Maintain a normal diet for 3 days prior to the test.
  • Discontinue medications like corticosteroids and diuretics that impact glucose metabolism (after consulting with your doctor).
  • The test is conducted in the morning after 10-16 hours of overnight fasting (water and unsweetened tea are permissible).
  • Remain at rest, and avoid eating, drinking, or smoking during the test.

7) Blood should be drawn into EDTA tubes for PCR tests. Collect a sample of 2-4 mL and mix the contents gently after sampling.

*Epstein Barr Virus test requires resting for 15 minutes before drawing blood from a vein. For children under 5 years of age, it is advised to give them small amounts of boiled or bottled water to drink half an hour before the blood draw.

Instructions for urine collection

Complete urinalysis with sediment:

Bring a fresh, first-morning urine sample (midstream) in a urine container. Before sample collection, ensure the external genitalia are cleansed. A minimum of 10-15 mL of urine is required for the analysis. The urine sample should be analyzed within 2 hours of collection, or within 4 hours if refrigerated. Women are advised not to collect urine during menstruation.

For urine culture:

The optimal sample for urine culture is fresh, first-morning urine (initial stream) collected in a sterile container. It’s recommended to avoid any hygiene measures just before sample collection. At least 10-15 mL of urine is needed for the analysis. The sample should be delivered to the laboratory within one hour.

For 24-hour urine collection:

1) Prepare the appropriate container(s) for 24-hour urine collection (one or more 2-liter bottles may be needed).

2) Discard the first morning urine portion (do not add it to the collection bottle).

3) Throughout the day and night, collect all subsequent urine in the container.

4) The following day, add the first morning urine to the collection and deliver the total collected urine to the laboratory for analysis.

5) For certain tests, a preservative must be added to the collection bottle. Please consult the laboratory for specific instructions.

Instructions for stool collection

Place the stool sample in a clean container specifically for stool. Be careful to avoid contaminating the sample.

For occult blood testing:

Avoid collecting stool samples during or within three days after menstrual bleeding, or if there is visible bleeding from hemorrhoids or blood present in urine, as these conditions may cause false positive results. Additionally, do not collect a stool sample during episodes of acute diarrhea. There is no need for dietary restrictions prior to the test. Refrain from consuming certain substances, such as alcohol and aspirin, for 48 hours before testing.

Preparation for swabbing procedures

Urogenital swabs:

Avoid using any urogenital hygiene and therapy products for 24 hours before the swab test.

Throat, buccal, and nasal swabs:

1)Do not eat breakfast on the morning of the buccal swab test. Avoid consuming sugar for at least 30 minutes before the test. Refrain from drinking any beverages before the test. Do not perform oral hygiene (like brushing your teeth) before the test. If you have eaten or drunk anything, wait for at least 1 hour before the swab collection. Rinse your mouth with water before the procedure.

2) Take swab samples before starting any antibiotic therapy.

3) Ensure a 12-hour interval between the use of any local antiseptic agent and the swab collection.

4) For a follow-up sample after completing antibiotic therapy, wait for at least 7 days post-therapy or as advised by your doctor.

Instructions for semen collection

To collect a semen sample, abstain from sexual activity for at least three days beforehand. Urinate to empty the bladder, then wash and dry the genital area. Collect the ejaculate in a sterile container and deliver it to the laboratory within 60 minutes, keeping it between 20 and 37°C (68 and 98.6°F).

Instructions for sputum collection

Collect the sputum sample early in the morning before eating. Brush your teeth and rinse your mouth with plain water. Then, by coughing, expel the sputum into a sterile container with a lid.


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