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Stools test: How to collect and store

The testing of stools can be requested by the doctor to evaluate digestive functions, amount of fat in the feces or eggs of parasites, being useful for detecting your general state of health. See what your stools color can tell you about your health by clicking on: How to understand the color of your stools.

The stools collected for testing may be stored in the refrigerator depending on the testing to be done but the laboratory may clarify how it should be stored. In cases of parasitological testing and occult blood research, feces can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

Stools test: How to collect and store

Fecal occult blood testing

This test is used to evaluate small amounts of blood present in stools that may not be seen with the naked eye. This test is indicated for the screening of colon cancer, bowel cancer and possible bleeding into the digestive system.

If there is a suspicion of intestinal cancer, see what symptoms can be present.

Types of stools test

The main types are:

  • Parasitological stool examination: It is useful for the detection of parasites and protozoa, and is useful for identifying intestinal worms. In this case laxatives or suppositories can not be used before collecting the stools, and the container should be kept in the refrigerator. If you suspect you have a worm, see symptoms of worms.
  • Stool tests Coproculture: Stools should be placed in a suitable container and sent to the laboratory within 24 hours, you should not use laxatives and the stool container should be kept in the refrigerator;
  • Fecal occult blood test: Stools should be sent to the laboratory no later than the next day and kept in the refrigerator. Avoid collecting the stools in cases of anal bleeding, nasal bleeding or gingiva during tooth brushing;
  • Rotavirus testing: Stools, preferably when liquid, should be collected at any time of the day and taken to the laboratory within 1 hour.

The minimum amount of stools required for testing should be equivalent to half of the container.

How to collect stools for testing

Basic kit
Basic kit

Fecal collection should be done with caution so that there is no contamination with urine or water in the toilet. For collection it is necessary to:

  1. Evacuate in the potty or on a sheet of white paper placed on the bathroom floor;
  2. Collect a little bit of stools with the small shovel (that comes next to the pot) and put it inside the jar;
  3. Write your full name on the container and store it in the refrigerator for 24 hours until it is taken to the laboratory.

The procedure is simple and should be the same for adults, infants and children. When the patient uses diapers the collection should be done soon after the evacuation.

Another way to collect stools more easily is to buy a kind of sterile plastic bag so that you line the toilet and evacuate using the toilet normally. This bag does not allow contamination with the water present in the pot and facilitates the collection of stool, and is especially useful for people with reduced mobility and who can not crouch to crouch in a pot or a newspaper, for example.

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