Gram – Pleural fluid:  3+ (6-10/oif) neutrophils – and no bacteria – Shipped February 07, 2022


A simulated pleural fluid sample collected from a 52 year old inpatient after a pneumonectomy was sent to category A laboratories. Participants were expected to report the presence of neutrophils and no bacteria.


  1. The early and accurate reporting of Gram smear results from a patient with pleural effusions is very important. It allows clinicians to actively and precisely determine that course of an infection (or other cause), and provide appropriate and effective treatment for the condition.
  2. Pleural fluids should be treated like other invasive specimens, and a Gram smear result (both the number and type of cells and the presence or absence of micro-organisms) should be immediately reported to the attending physician.

Full critique (PDF)

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