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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 18(4); 2007 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 2007;18(4): 320-325.
Effects of Appropriate Sputum Expectoration on Culture Studies in Emergency Department
Tae Min Choi, Ik Joon Jo, Hyoung Gon Song
Department of Emergency Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University, School of Medicine, Korea. ikjoonjo@smc.samsung.co.kr
In clinical situations requiring the use or the sputum Gram stain test, the adequacy of specimens is often compromised by improper sample generation by patients. We designed a study to evaluate the effect of good written instruction for sputum expectoration on the outcome of sample adequacy.
Data were collected from adult patients over age 15 at a tertiary teaching hospital emergency department who had the sputum Gram stain test from October 1 to October 31, 2006. Patients were given carefully written instruction cards for sputum expectoration, together with a bottle of mineral water to gargle before expectoration. Patients' data were compared to a group of patients who visited the same ED during the same month in 2005.
The total numbers of sputum tests were 164 in 2006 and 151 in 2005. The number and percentage of adequate specimens increased from 62(44%) in the 2005 patient group to 114(69.5%) in the 2006 patient group (p=0.000).
By the simple use of properly written instructions for expectoration and of mineral water for oral gargling before sputum expectoration, the adequacy of sputum specimens for testing can be significantly improved.
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