Shipped August 2012


The challenge was sent to category A, B, C, and C1 laboratories. Participants were presented with the following scenario:

A midstream urine sample with a requisition and a note arrives at the laboratory. On the note, there is a request for the laboratory to process the sample. It also indicates that the sample had been found in the patient’s fridge and had been collected at least 7 days ago. Please select the one option that best describes your lab’s protocol.

A. Process the sample and report the results as requested.

B. Reject the sample and request a new sample (if possible).

C. Process the sample and report the results with a disclaimer.

D. Process the sample and report the count and identification of the organism(s) in the culture. Susceptibilities are not reported.


  1. While refrigeration will reduce the incidence of contaminated urine samples, colony counts in refrigerated samples are considered reliable for only 24 hours.
  2. A patient with a serious condition benefits from the most accurate and timely information and delayed testing provides neither.

Full critique (PDF)

Posted in Clinical Bacteriology Results, critiques