U-Bag Urine Collection Guidelines for Males and Females

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Your child’s urine (pee) must be tested so we can plan the treatment for them. You will need to collect the urine specimen at home and bring it to a Nationwide Children’s Hospital Laboratory Service Center.

Boys and girls use the same kind of collection kit. It will have:

  • U-Bag Urine Collection bag
  • Sterile container with locking lid and a label
  • 3 soap towelettes
  • Disposable 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 or
    • Patient’s ID number or
    • Nationwide Children’s Hospital medical record number

    It can be helpful to do steps 1 and 2 before starting

  3. Date of sample collection (MM/DD/YYYY) - write this AFTER the collection
  4. Time of sample collection (include a.m. or p.m.) - write this AFTER the collection

Nationwide Children’s clinics may give you an EPIC registration label to put on the container.

How to Collect a Urine Specimen From Males Using a U-Bag

  1. Make sure your baby’s bottom is clean and without feces (poop).
  2. Wash your hands, set up the supplies within reach and put on gloves, if desired.
  3. Take one of the soap towelettes from the collection packet and clean the head of your child’s penis and scrotum (the sac of skin behind the penis). Wash with circular strokes. If your child is uncircumcised, pull back the foreskin and clean thoroughly. Throw away the towelette.
  4. Repeat Step 3 with the other 2 towelettes.
  5. Get the U-Bag collection bag. Unfold it. You will see white paper covering the outside edges of the oval-shaped opening. This paper collar covers a sticky side. The ends of the long part of the oval collar are the top and bottom of the bag. The narrow part of the oval collar are the sides. Attach the top of the bag above the penis and the bottom behind the scrotum. Then attach the sides next to each leg. There will be a small blue square tag at the bottom of the bag. Leave this alone.
  6. Peel off the bottom half of the paper backing on the collar. Be careful not to let it fold in on itself and stick together. Spread your child’s legs.
  7. Place the penis and scrotum into the U-Bag opening. Attach the bottom of the collar on the skin between the rectum (baby’s bottom) and the scrotum. Press firmly so that the collar sticks to the skin. Continue pressing firmly while moving towards the sides. Be sure to stretch out any skin folds so there are no gaps between the collar and the skin. A good seal will stop urine from leaking out and feces from getting into the bag. If this happens, the test will not be accurate, and you will need to start all over with a new collection kit.
  8. Peel off the white paper on the top half of the collar. Attach the collar to the skin. Starting on the sides, move up and across the top pressing firmly and smoothly. Check to make sure that the collar is sealed well on all sides. The collection bag should hang freely.
  9. Place a clean diaper on your baby. Take care that it does not pull on the bag and break the seal. The collection bag should stick out on one side of the diaper.
  10. Check the bag every 20 minutes to see when your child has urinated. When there is at least 1/4 cup of urine in the bag, you are ready to transfer the specimen to the sterile urine container.
  11. To transfer urine to the sterile container, wash your hands again and dry them. Open the container. Set the cap down with the inside facing up.
  12. Slowly peel the U-Bag off the baby without spilling urine. Hold the U-Bag over the open urine container. Pull the small blue square tag and let the urine drain into the container.
  13. Get the cap, touching only the sides, and put it on the container. Turn it until you hear a click. This lets you know that the lid is tight and properly screwed on. Wipe the outside of the container dry.
  14. If wearing gloves, throw them away. Wash your hands well.

How to Collect a Urine Specimen From Females Using a U-Bag

  1. Make sure your baby’s bottom is clean and without feces (poop).
  2. Wash your hands, and put on gloves, if desired.
  3. Gently separate the folds of skin over the urinary opening and the vagina (the privates).
  4. With the first towelette, wipe the right side of the privates. Be sure to wipe from front to back. Throw away the towelette.
  5. Repeat step 4 on the left side and down the center with a different towelette each time.
  6. Get the U-Bag collection bag and unfold it. You will see white paper covering the outside edges of an oval opening. This paper collar covers a sticky side. The ends of the long part of the oval collar are the top and bottom of the bag. Attach the top of the bag on the skin above the privates and the bottom in back of the vagina. Then attach the sides next to each leg. There will be a small blue square at the bottom of the bag. Leave this alone.
  7. Peel off the bottom half of the paper backing on the collar. Be careful not to let it fold in on itself and stick together. Spread your child’s legs.
  8. Attach the bottom of the collar to the skin between the rectum (baby’s bottom) and the vagina. Press firmly so that the collar sticks to the skin. Continue pressing firmly while moving towards the sides. Be sure to stretch out any skin folds so that there are no gaps between the collar and the skin. A good seal will stop urine from leaking out and feces from getting into the bag. If this happens, the test will not be accurate, and you will need to start all over with a new collection kit.
  9. Peel off the white paper on the top half of the collar. Attach the collar to the skin above the privates. Starting on the sides, move up and across the top, pressing firmly and smoothly. Check to make sure that the collar is sealed well on all sides. The collection bag should hang freely.
  10. Place a clean diaper on your baby. Make sure that it does not pull on the bag and break the seal. The collection bag should stick out on one side of the diaper.
  11. Check the bag every 20 minutes to see when your child has urinated. When there is at least 1/4 cup of urine in the bag, you are ready to put the specimen into the sterile urine container.
  12. To transfer urine to the sterile container, wash your hands and dry them. Open the container. Set the cap down with the inside facing up.
  13. Slowly peel the U-Bag off the baby without spilling urine. Hold the U-Bag over the open container. Pull the small blue square tag, and let the urine drain into the container.
  14. Get the cap, touching only the sides, and put it on the container. Turn it until you hear a click. This lets you know that the lid is tight and properly screwed on. Wipe the outside of the container dry.
  15. If wearing gloves, throw them away. Wash your hands well.

After Collecting the Specimen

  1. Check the label to be sure that it has your child’s full legal name, date of birth, patient number or medical record number. Then, write in the date and the time of the collection and stick the label on the container. Please note, the specimen will not be tested if the patient’s name and at least one other identifier is not on the label.
  2. Place the container of urine in a resealable plastic bag.
  3. If your child is at a health care facility, give the container to the nurse or health care worker.
  4. For collections done at home:
    • Bring the specimen to a Laboratory Service Center within 30 minutes after collection.
    • If you cannot bring the specimen within 30 minutes, it must be kept cold until it gets to the laboratory (lab). You can store it in the refrigerator or put it on top of some ice. Do not let it freeze.
    • Take the specimen to the lab in a cooler on top of ice. Do not pack ice around the container as it may freeze the urine.
    • Please bring your child with you when you bring the urine specimen to the lab. You may be asked to collect a fresh specimen.

Drop-off Options

During the day:

In the evening:

  • Nationwide Children’s Hospital Admitting Department on main campus. Drop-off hours at this location are Monday through Friday, 7 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

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

If you have any questions, ask your child’s health care provider or call Laboratory Services at (800) 934-6575.

U-Bag Urine Collection Guidelines for Males and Females (PDF), Spanish (PDF), Somali (PDF)

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