Stool Collection Guidelines

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Stool Collection Guidelines

Your child’s stool (bowel movement) must be tested so we can plan the treatment for your child. You will need to collect the stool specimen at home. Bring it to a Laboratory Service Center. This stool specimen will be examined and a report will be sent to your doctor.

You will need

  • Clean container
  • Wooden tongue depressor or spoon
  • “Toilet hat”, clean dry container, or plastic wrap (for an older child)
  • Label with the child’s full legal name and the information in the “How to label
    the specimen” section, below.
  • Latex or vinyl exam gloves (optional)

How to label the specimen

  1. Child’s full legal name – complete first and last names correctly spelled
  2. One of the following unique identifiers:
  • Date of Birth
  • Patient’s ID or NCH Medical Record Number
  1. Date of sample collection (MM/DD/YYYY)
  2. Time of sample collection (please include A.M. or P.M.)

NCH Clinics: Clinicians can use an EPIC registration label before giving the container(s) to the patient.

How to collect the specimen

Put on gloves before handling your child’s stool. Stool can contain material that spreads infection. Wash your hands after you remove your gloves.

Infants

  • After your infant has a bowel movement, collect the stool from the If your infant
    is having liquid stool, use a disposable diaper and put the plastic side next to the skin. Leave the diaper on this way just long enough to collect the stool specimen. The stool must not have any contact with urine.
  • Do not put any lotions or ointments on the infant’s diaper or diaper area. Greasy ointments or lotions can cause incorrect results. The only diaper rash treatments that may be used are cornstarch and Resinol.

Toddlers

  • If your toddler is toilet trained, collect the stool specimen from a clean, dry, training potty. If your child is not toilet trained, collect the specimen from the training pants or diaper. The stool must not have any contact with urine.
  • Do not put any lotions or ointments on the toddler’s training pants, diaper, or diaper area. Greasy ointments or lotions can cause incorrect results. The only diaper rash treatments that may be used are cornstarch and Resinol.

Older Children

  • You may be given a white plastic “toilet hat” to collect the specimens. Have your child
    use this container for all bowel movements. When the child is ready to have a bowel movement, place the “toilet hat” on the back rim of the toilet bowl, just under the toilet seat. If using plastic wrap, loosely drape a long section of plastic wrap over the rim on both sides of the toilet bowl creating a “pocket” in the center. Have your child sit directly over the collection container or plastic wrap to collect the stool sample. Do not collect
    the stool from the toilet. The stool must not have any contact with urine.

How to prepare the specimen

  1. Use the wooden tongue depressor or spoon to place the stool in the proper (See
    the Stool Collection Chart on pages 4 and 5.)
  2. On the label write your child’s full legal name, date of birth, and the date and time he or she had the bowel
  3. Bring your child’s stool specimen to a Nationwide Children’s facility as soon as
    (Please see the Stool Collection Chart on pages 4 and 5 for exact timing).

Drop-off options

  • You may take the specimen to any Laboratory Service Center or Nationwide Children’s Close To Home Center during regular business hours. For business hours and locations, please call Laboratory Services at (800) 934-6575 or visit NationwideChildrens.org/Lab.
  • Nationwide Children’s Outpatient Reference Laboratory is located in the lower level at
    555 S. 18th Street, Columbus, Ohio 43205. Business hours are Monday through Friday,
    8:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. and Saturday, 8:30 A.M. to 3:30 P.M.
  • Nationwide Children’s Hospital Admitting Department on main campus is open for drop-offs Monday through Friday, 7:00 P.M. through 11:30 P.M.

 

Please do not drop off stool specimens at the Emergency Department.

Other information

  • Collect the specimen even if your child has diarrhea (loose bowels).
  • Collect the specimen in the container given to you unless you are given other instructions. Different tests use different containers.
  • If you are collecting specimens for more than one child, make sure each specimen container is labeled with the correct child’s full legal name and date of birth.
  • If you have any questions, be sure to ask your child’s doctor or nurse.

 

For directions to the nearest Laboratory Service Center, please call Laboratory Services at (800) 934-6575 or visit NationwideChildrens.org/Lab.

 STOOL COLLECTION CHART

 

For more information, please see the Stool Collection chart on pages 4 and 5 of this document.

   STOOL COLLECTION CHART

For more information regarding test availability or specimen requirements,

please call (800) 934-6575 or visit NationwideChildrens.org/Lab.

HH-III-141 Stool Collection Guidelines (PDF) 12/16Copyright 2016 Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children's Drive Columbus, Ohio 43205 614.722.2000