Question

A 42-year-old male patient has had a frequent productive cough and has been febrile for 3...

A 42-year-old male patient has had a frequent productive cough and has been febrile for 3 days. The patient returned today from a long business trip, flying on four different airplanes over the past 5 days. He states he was sitting next to a small child on the last leg of the flight who sneezed continuously and that since that time has felt a mild sore throat and headache and has had this cough. The nurse is instructing the patient in the collection of a sputum specimen.



Identify the clinical problem(s) in the case study.


The patient is eager to provide the sputum specimen but states he needs first to rinse his mouth with mouthwash because he came directly to the clinic from the airport. The patient is concerned that his lack of oral hygiene today will influence the test results. How should the nurse respond to this patient?


The nurse washes her hands and hands the patient a sputum cup. The patient successfully expectorates sputum into the cup and, when complete, hands the cup to the nurse. There is some sputum on the side of the cup; the nurse wipes this with a tissue and begins to label the sample. Are there concerns regarding the nurse’s handling of the specimen?



Homework Answers

Answer #1

A 42 year old patient has been instructed to collect sputum specimen because of his frequent productive cough. Since he came directly from airport he wants rinse his mouth with mouthwash.But it is not advisable to use mouth wadh and cleanse mouth because it can kill the bacteria present in the sputum. He can gargle with plain water to reduce the oral bacteria. The nurse can explain to him that the lack of oral hygiene will not influence test results. It completely depends on the sputum which is collected not the saliva.

When nurse collect the sample she can either ask him to keep in a tray or after collecting she can sanitize or wash hands thoroughly with soap and water. If she wears gloves then can wipe the sputum on the sides of cup but she needs to discard the gloves before labelling the sample as it can spread infections to other medium.

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