The Basics of Urine Specimen Collection: From Containers to Testing

Urinalysis SystemsIt is well-known that urine specimen collection is a common method that physicians utilize to ensure their patient’s health. For most people, giving a urine sample is a routine part of any physical. More than a measure of one’s health and well-being, it can be vital in diagnosing the presence or observing the condition of disease. For example, a urine test can show whether you may have diabetes or are suffering from a urinary tract infection. Urine specimen collection is also used to detect or monitor illegal drug use in many jobs, professions, and athletic competitions. Only blood samples are used more often than urine samples for analysis in clinical laboratories.

Because urine specimen collection plays an important role in clinical diagnostics, there is a concern for pre-analytical error of the specimens. Errors are difficult to detect. As is the case with any submission of clinical laboratory specimens, the clinical information acquired from urine specimens can be affected by the collection method, handling, transport, and length of time. To ensure the best possible results of a urine test, doctors’ offices and laboratories must have protocols in place for specimen collection and analysis.

Urine specimen collection methods vary according to the type of specimen required, which can influence results. The normal make-up of urine varies considerably throughout any twenty-four-hour period. Specimens that are randomly collected are not considered specimens of choice. More than likely, because of the random time of day, the specimen is not concentrated but is diluted by other fluids consumed throughout the day. Much like a blood draw, most doctors favor a first-morning urine specimen for a urinalysis and microscopic analysis. Its volume and concentration are more uniform, and a midstream clean-catch specimen at that is preferred. Starting and then stopping at midstream to catch the urine as the patient resumes micturating is recommended for microbiological cultures and other testing. In this way, the risk of incidence of cellular and microbial contamination is greatly reduced. In some instances, quantitative measurements of specimens are necessary and will require timed collection specimens. In all of these cases, handling and transport of the specimens to laboratories for testing is important to ensure the best results.

Once a specimen is collected, the physician may do a visual check to test for clarity or color. Healthy urine is clear and the color of pale straw without any visible sediment. Once the specimen is delivered to a laboratory, it will undergo thorough diagnostic testing. A dipstick test may be utilized initially. A thin plastic strip treated with different chemicals is dipped into your urine. Each chemical on the stick reacts and changes a different color if levels such as acidity or pH, white blood cells, glucose, or protein are present or above normal. Finally, a microscopic urinalysis checks for particles or sediment too small to be seen. White or red blood cells, bacteria, or crystal clumps of minerals should not be present in urine. These particles in the urine are signs of health issues. For example, such sediment in urine can be a sign of a urinary tract infection (UTI), or maybe a sign of kidney stones or bladder infections.

Microscopic urinalysis is undertaken by means of a urine sedimentation system. An important diagnostic laboratory tool, urine sedimentation systems are urinalysis disposables. Kits are manufactured in sizes and configurations, designed to test sediment in urine samples for clinical analysis.

Manufacturers of High-Quality Urine Specimen Collection Containers

Urine specimen collection allows for testing which can aid in determining one’s health or detect urinary or metabolic diseases such as diabetes or liver disease. At Biomedical Polymers, we manufacture a complete system that includes a 12 mL graduated polystyrene urine tube with a cap, 12 mL Super Tube produced from special polystyrene, the Decanting Pipette, and a 10 chamber acrylic slide with an integrated coverslip. If you have questions about ordering complete urine sedimentation systems, contact one of our experts.