Sputum Evaluation (Sputum Induction) – Preparation, Procedure, Risks

A Sputum evaluation test is recommended by the doctor in severe cases of Pneumonia. It is a very simple test and you need not put much effort in it. It is not only painless but also non invasive.

This test involves collection of sample of sputum from the patient and its subsequent analysis. It helps the doctor in detecting the type of germ that caused the infection.

Preparation for the test

There is no special preparation needed for the test. However, you may be asked to drink plenty of fluids the evening before the test. It helps in producing the sample of the sputum.

Sputum Evaluation Procedure

Your doctor may recommend you to get the sputum evaluation test done. It is indicated in cases where a patient is suspected to have pneumonia.

                    You will be asked to produce sample of your sputum by coughing out of your lungs.

                    This sputum is collected and sent to the doctor.

                    The doctor examines the collected sputum for identifying the kind of infectious agent like bacteria, virus, etc that had caused the infection.

Things to take care during the test

You should ensure that the cough needs to come from deep insure the lungs.

In case, your cough is too dry, you will be asked to breathe in a saltwater mist via a tube/mask. It helps in producing good phlegm sample by making you cough deeply.

Risks of Sputum evaluation test

The sputum evaluation test is a very safe procedure and there is no risk involved in the procedure.

After the procedure

Once the sputum test is over and sample is collected, it is sent to the technician. The technician stains the sputum sample and observes it closely using a microscope. The results of the stain test are available on the day of the test.

In some cases, doctor may ask the technician to grow the sputum culture. In this process, sputum is incubated for accelerating the growth of bacteria or any other germs present in it. These are used for further tests. The sputum culture needs several days to complete.