Stool Specimen Collection: pH, Reducing Substances, Occult Blood, Trypsin, Bilirubin :: Nationwide Children's Hospital

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Stool Specimen Collection: pH, Reducing Substances, Occult Blood, Trypsin, Bilirubin

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 and bring it to ChildLab Laboratory Service Center. This stool specimen will be examined in a laboratory and a report will be sent to your doctor.

How to Collect the Specimen

Picture 1 Collecting the specimen.

Do not put any type of lotion or ointment on the child's diaper or underwear area during this test. Greasy ointments or lotions can cause incorrect results for some tests.
  • Infants - After your baby has a bowel movement, collect stool from the diaper. If your baby is having liquid stools, use a disposable diaper and put the plastic side next to the skin. Leave the diaper this way just long enough to get a stool specimen.
  • Toddlers - If your child is toilet trained, collect the stool specimen from a clean potty. If he or she is not toilet trained, collect the specimen from clean training pants or diaper.
  • Older child - The nurse will give you a "toilet hat" to collect the specimen. When the child is ready to have a bowel movement, put the toilet hat in place in the toilet to collect the stool. Do not collect stool from the toilet.

How to Prepare the Specimen

1. Type of container to use:
  • Sterile urine cup
  • Other_________________________
2. Amount of stool to collect:
  • One teaspoon
  • Other_________________________
3. Use the wooden stick to place the stool in the container.
4. On the label write the child's name, date of birth, and the date and time he had the bowel movement (Picture 1).
5. Keep the stool:
  • at room temperature
  • in the refrigerator
  • in the freezer
6. Bring the stool specimen to a ChildLab Laboratory Service Center. Testing must be performed within 24 hours of collection for pH, Trypsin, and Bilirubin. Keep Bilirubin sample from the light by wrapping it in aluminum foil or keeping it in a paper bag.

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 right child's name.
If you have any questions, be sure to ask your doctor or nurse.
For directions to the nearest ChildLab Laboratory Service Center, please call ChildLab Client Services at 1-800-934-6575 or log onto
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