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Patient Preparation for Laboratory Test

Patient role

One of the most important factors in determining the accuracy and reliability of your lab test is you, the patient. Follow instructions carefully for accurate results

  • Patient Preparation for Laboratory Test
  • Preparing for test- Imaging Services
Blood Examination
For Routine Blood Collection

For most blood tests blood is collected after overnight fast ie no food intake for 10-12hours. Tea,coffee, alcohol intake and smoking are not permitted during this period. Reasonable amount of water intake is permitted.

Random blood sugar (RBS):
No special preparation is required before having a random blood sugar test.

Fasting Blood Glucose(FBS)
Blood is collected after overnight fasting. Patient is not supposed to eat or drink 8/12 hrs before having blood taken except water.

After collection of this fasting sample, a known diabetic patient should have his usual medication and breakfast unless advised by physician to stop any medication.

Post–lunch blood glucose (PLBS)
It is done in diabetics i.e blood is collected 1:30 to 2hr after lunch.

Complete urine examination

Ideally private parts should be cleaned with soap and plenty of clean water and dried. Contamination with local discharges is to be avoided

For routine analysis and/or for culture:
The first specimen in the morning is usually the best for most of the tests including pregnancy test. Discard some amount of initial and last portion of urine and collect the middle portion (midstream sample) in a container.

24 hour urine collection:
This sample usually required for protein quantification or for testing other excretory functions of the kidney. Collect urine in 2‐4 L container. At 6 am or any other convenient hour when patient gets up in the morning, ask him/her to empty the bladder and discard this urine. Collect all urine passed thereafter in the container. Continue to collect urine till the patient gets up next morning and passes urine. Include this next day’s sample to the total volume of urine. Place this sample in refrigerator until it’s delivered to the laboratory for further analysis. Do not add any preservative of your own. This may interfere with certain test results.

Stool Specimen Collections

Stool for Occult Blood:
Diet and drugs may affect results of occult blood testing. Please talk to your physician before making any changes in diet or medications prescribed for you.

You will collect a separate sample from three different stools, usually on consecutive days. Each stool specimen should be collected into a clean container and should not be contaminated with urine or water.

Stool Collection for Other Tests :
You may be asked to collect a stool specimen for laboratory testing. You may collect this specimen in a clean leak proof container with a tightly fitting lid provided by the lab. Patient Instructions

Prior to collecting a stool specimen, avoid consuming the following:
1. Antacids
2. Ant diarrheal Medications
3. Oily Laxatives
4. Barium or Bismuth
These products can interfere with test Results

Sputum For Culture And Acid Fast Mycobacterium (Afb)

Patient should rinse mouth and gargle with water immediately prior to collection. Collect specimen from deep cough into a sterile container. Patient should avoid any contamination with saliva. Return specimen as soon as possible (preferably within half an hour of collection). If there is a delay, specimen should be refrigerated. Please label the specimen container with patient’s name, date and time.

Semen Analysis

Refrain from sexual intercourse or masturbation for between 3 to 4 days.. The person should pass urine and empty bladder before ejaculation. Semen should be collected by masturbation in screw capped plastic container and delivered to the laboratory within one hour of collection while being kept close to the body to maintain temperature during transit interval. Please also note the time of collection of the sample.

Glucose Tolerance Test (Non-Pregnant)

Patient should be fasting for 8 hours (no food or drink, except for water). A fasting blood specimen will be drawn and tested. You will then be given a glass of glucose drink. Your blood will be drawn once each hour or each half hour after you finish the drink. The number of hours may vary from 2- 4.Avoid very low carbohydrate diet and strenuous exercise before days

Prenatal Glucose Tolerance Tests

For pregnant patients your physician may order glucose tolerance testing during your pregnancy.

50 Gram 1 Hour Glucose Tolerance Test (Gestational Diabetes Screen)


1. No special patient preparation is required.
2. This test is done without regard to the time of day or time of last meal. You do not need to fast before  this test is given.
3. You will be given a glucose drink and your blood will be drawn one hour after you finish the drink.
4. Please allow at least 1 ½ hours for this test to be completed.

100 Gram 3 Hour Glucose Tolerance Test (Gestational Diabetes)


1. This test should be performed in the morning after an overnight fast of at least 8 hours and after at least 3 days of unrestricted diet and activity.
2. A blood specimen will be drawn and tested.
3. You will then be given a glucose drink.
4. Your blood will be drawn once each hour after you finish the drink for three hours.
5. This test will be completed in 4 hours. Hence be prepared to spend this time at the lab.

Lipid Profile

For optimal results, the patient should be on astable diet for 2-3 weeks prior to testing. Patient should fast for 12 to 14 hours beforeblood collection. Fasting should be no food or drink except for water.
Avoid oily or fatty food before day .

Serum Cortisol Test

Cortisol may be tested in blood or urine.
If blood cortisol levels are requested by your physician, you may be asked to have your blood drawn once (random Cortisol) or multiple times. Your physician will inform you if you are having multiple blood draws for your cortisol testing.

Cortisol blood tests may be drawn at about 8 am, when cortisol should be at its peak, and again at about 4pm, when the level should have dropped. Sometimes a resting sample will be obtained late in the evening.

If your physician requests a urine cortisol, you will be asked to collect either a 24-hour urine or a single first morning specimen.

Serum Cortisol Test

Cortisol may be tested in blood or urine.
If blood cortisol levels are requested by your physician, you may be asked to have your blood drawn once (random Cortisol) or multiple times. Your physician will inform you if you are having multiple blood draws for your cortisol testing.

Cortisol blood tests may be drawn at about 8 am, when cortisol should be at its peak, and again at about 4pm, when the level should have dropped. Sometimes a resting sample will be obtained late in the evening.

If your physician requests a urine cortisol, you will be asked to collect either a 24-hour urine or a single first morning specimen.

Vitamin B12 AndFolate

A fasting specimen (no food or drink, except for water) for 12- 14 hours before blood is drawn is preferable but not mandatory.

Xylose Tolerance

Requires fast of at least 10 hrs.but not more than 16 hrs.

Apolipoproteins A1/B Test

14 hours fasting is required, no liquids except water

C-PEPTIDE

Patient should be fasting (no food or drink, except for water) for 12-14 hours before blood is drawn.

Digoxin Level

Blood should be drawn 6-8 hours after the last dose of digoxin was taken. Mention the time of drug dose.

Dual And Triple Marker Tests For Pregnant Women

Detailed history required along with age, date of birth and recent sonography reports.

Iron Studies

No specific preparation required. Age and blood transfusion history if any, should be informed.

X-Ray
  • Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing to your exam. 
  • Metal objects including jewellery, eyeglasses, dentures and hairpins may affect the CT images and should be left at home or removed prior to your exam.  You may also be asked to remove hearing aids and removable dental work.

Ultrasound

For examination for kidneys, pelvis and urinary bladder, full bladder is mandatory for examination or drink 3 glasses of water prior to one hour of examination

For examination of gallbladder, pancreas and abdomen, patient is supposed to fast at least for 6 hours.

Mammography
  • On the day of your examination, do not apply underarm deodorant or powder from neck to waist( if used let us know)
  • Please wear a 2 piece garment for your ease of changing and comfort.
  • Please get your previous records which may be used for comparison.

 

Bone densitometry

Women should schedule this test within the first ten days of your last menstrual period. Count the ten days starting from the first day of your last menstrual period. If it has been more than ten days since your last menstrual period (for ladies who have not yet gone through menopause), please let your physician know.

If you have had any form of contrast studies (barium enema, Upper GI, CAT scan or MRI with contrast, Nuclear Medicine Scan, angiograms, or heart studies), schedule your BMD at least five days after those studies.

Don't take any vitamins or calcium supplements before 24 Hours of your BMD. If you wish, you may take them after your exam.You may take your regular medications.You may eat before the exam

PREPARING FOR TEST- CT SCAN

***Pregnant woman should not have a CT exam or any X-ray examination, especially if the woman is in her first trimester (first three-month period of pregnancy).

  • Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing to your exam.  You may be given a gown to wear during the scan.
  • Metal objects including jewellery, eyeglasses, dentures and hairpins may affect the CT images and should be left at home or removed prior to your exam.  You may also be asked to remove hearing aids and removable dental work.
  • You may be asked not to eat or drink anything for several hours before your scan, especially if a contrast material will be used in your exam. 
  • Chest/Abdomen/Pelvis 

The patient is required to fast for 8 hours prior to their C.T. scan.   

  • Brain, Neck, Spine or Extremities

Patients do not need to fast for C.T. scans of Brain, Neck, Spine or Extremities

  • You should inform your physician of any medications you are taking and if you have any allergies, especially to contrast materials.Also inform your doctor of any recent illnesses or medical conditions, and if you have a history of heart disease, asthma, diabetes, kidney disease or thyroid problems.  Any of these conditions may increase the risk of an unusual adverse effect.
  • Please bring a list of your current medications:  prescriptions, over the counter medications, and vitamins.
  • Women should always inform their physician or technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant.
  • If your infant or young child is having a spiral CT, there are measures that can be taken to ensure that the test will not cause anxiety for either the child or parent.

Contrast material
A special dye called a contrast material is needed for some CT scans, to help highlight the areas of your body being examined. The contrast material blocks X-rays and appears white on images, which can help emphasize blood vessels, intestines or other structures.
Contrast material can enter your body in a variety of ways:

  • Oral. If your esophagus or stomach is being scanned, you may need to swallow a liquid that contains contrast material. This drink may taste unpleasant.
  • Injection. Contrast agents can be injected through a vein in your arm, to help view your gallbladder, urinary tract, liver or blood vessels. You may experience a feeling of warmth during the injection or a metallic taste in your mouth.
  • Rectal. A contrast material may be inserted in your rectum to help visualize your intestines. This procedure can make you feel bloated and uncomfortable.

PLEASE INFORM IF YOU’RE ALLERGETIC TO ANY CONTRAST SUBSTANCE.


Preparing your small child for a scan
If your infant or toddler is having the CT scan, the doctor may recommend a sedative to keep your child calm and still. Movement blurs the images and may lead to inaccurate results
After CT scan:
After your CT scan is completed, you may resume all of your normal activities. There should be no ill-side effects and you will be able to drive.

The only thing we recommend is that you drink plenty of liquids/water after your test is complete (if given contrast).  This is so that the contrast dye can be quickly flushed from your body and you do not become dehydrated.