M133-2

Sputum: Normal flora  – Shipped November 2013

HISTORY

A simulated sputum sample obtained from a 72 year old female in a nursing home was sent to category A and B laboratories. Laboratories were informed that the specimen was suitable for culture.

Participants were expected recognize the growth of normal flora and to refrain from further work up and reporting.

MAIN EDUCATIONAL POINTS from M133-2

  1. Technologists should recognize which organisms are likely to be normal oropharyngeal/respiratory flora.
  2. Identifying and reporting isolates which are known to be normal flora in sputum samples is discouraged.

Full critique (PDF)

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