Patient Services

Patient Services

Collection Procedures and Instructions

Stool Collection Instructions

If your provider has requested that you collect a stool specimen at home. Please follow these collection guidelines:

Specimen Containers:
The lab provides special containers for stool specimens. The green and yellow capped containers contain a liquid preservative that keeps the stool fresh for 48-72 hours.
WARNING: The preservative contains toxic substances. Read container label. KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN. The white capped container is empty.

Collection Procedure:

  1. Collect the stool (fecal) specimen in a wide mouth container or collection “hat”.


  3. Filleach container to the FILL LINE. It is important to use the portion of stool that is bloody, slimy or watery. If the stool is formed (hard), sample small amounts from each end and the middle of the specimen. Do not fill above the indicated FILL LINE. The sample may need recollecting if vial is over-filled.

  4. If you do not have the special containers, you can collect the sample in a clean, dry container.Refrigerate the sample and deliver to the lab within 24 hours.
    **Note: O&P must be to lab within 1 hour, Culture must be to lab within 2 hours.

  5. Label each container with:(1) Patient Name (2) Date of Birth (3) Date and Time of collection.

  6. Diaper specimens: Collect the sample in a diaper that has been lined with plastic wrap orturned inside out so the outer plastic is facing the skin. It is important that the sample does not soak into the diaper lining. Samples from a diaper without these precautions will be rejected unless the stool is hard and formed. DO NOT SEND SPECIMEN IN DIAPER.

  7. Your physician may order testing times 2 or 3. No more than one set of samples may be collected per day per test.

Important: Failure to follow instructions may cause delay in treatment and unintended expense.