Stools are used for a stool culture, a parasitological examination or an investigation for occult blood.
The aim of the stool culture is to find the causative organism of a gastrointestinal tract infection. The stools should therefore ideally be collected before any antibiotic therapy.
The purpose of the stool parasitological or OCP (ova, cysts and parasites) test is to investigate the presence of parasites: amoeba cysts, helminth eggs and adult parasites. Some organisms, such as the vegetative forms of flagellates and amoebae, do not survive long at room temperature, and it is therefore important that the stool samples be brought to the laboratory within the hour following their collection so that they can be identified.
The investigation for occult blood in the stool is recommended for early screening of intestinal cancer; it is a screening test based on in vitro diagnosis and involves stool analysis by professionals.
3.1.2 Recommendations for stool culture and stool OCP:
– Label the vial with your first and last names if this was not done by the laboratory. Record the time and date of the collection.
– Collect the stool in the sterile vial provided by the laboratory.
The vial should be transported to the laboratory as soon as possible (about 1 hour).
NB: In babies and young children, the stool may be collected from the diaper and transferred to the vial with a spatula.
3.1.3 Recommendation for fecal occult blood test (FOBT)
– Dietary recommendations: in the period between the 3 days prior to the start of the test and the end of the test, advise the patient to:
- eat food high in fiber such as vegetables, salads, fruits, whole grain bread and nuts in order to promote bleeding of potential cancers,
- avoid any raw or semi-raw meat and deli meats, since the consumption of blood-rich foods can result in a positive test even without gastrointestinal bleeding,
- avoid taking vitamin C, since it can alter the test results.
– Bleeding: it is recommended that the test be done when the patient does not have menstrual bleeding.
– Diarrhea: the test should not be done if the patient has diarrhea.
Take 3 successive stool samples.