Test Instructions

Different tests require different preparations to ensure the most accurate results. Select from the list on the left to find out what you need to know before you take your test.

Does my test require an appointment?

Appointments can be made at any time for any test for your convenience.

The following tests do require an appointment:

 

  • ECG/EKG
  • Genetics
  • Fertility Specimens

 

We have seven MLW collection centres conveniently in Windsor Essex County that accept walk-ins as well as two sites that operate on an appointment basis.

 

 

ECG/EKG Cardiac Test     

 

The Lab Assistant will ask you to:

 

  1. Remove all of your clothing from the waist up – we require a bare chest to position the chest sensors.
  2. Your lower legs (below the knees) also need to be bare but you may keep your shoes on. Women are requested to remove pantyhose to allow placement of sensors on the lower part of your leg.
  3. You will lay flat on your back on the ECG bed. A drape sheet will be provided for you to cover yourself. Relax.
  4. Alcohol will be rubbed on a small area of your upper arms and lower legs and chest (around the heart area).
  5. Six skin sensors will be placed on your chest and one on each limb.
  6. The Lab Assistant will feel for rib spaces to ensure accurate chest sensor placement.
  7. Some placements may require lifting of the breast; this is done by using the back of the hand.
  8. Once the skin sensors are placed and cables attached, we quickly cover your chest to preserve modesty.
  9. You will be asked to lie still while a reading is being taken – this will take approximately 10 seconds.

 

 

Fasting

 

What does this mean?   

  • Some test values change following the digestion of food. Fasting is defined as abstinence from all food and liquid for a defined period.

 

How do I know if I must fast before my blood work?      

  • Fasting may be required prior to your blood test. Your clinician will determine and inform you if fasting is required and will let you know.
  • Patient, who have a lipid profile, or any cholesterol testing on their requisition no longer have to do a mandatory fast.

 

Fasting Instructions – If you are asked to fast for your test:

Fast = Do not eat or drink anything (except water)

  • Fast a minimum of 8 hours prior to a fasting glucose or GTT (Glucose Tolerance Test) before you go to the laboratory to have your blood taken
  • Fast for 12 hours prior to a lipid assessment test before you go the laboratory to have your blood taken
  • You are allowed to drink only water.
  • Do not drink any juice, tea or coffee.
  • Do not smoke, chew gum, or exercise. These activities may stimulate the digestive system and  alter test results.
  • After the specimen is collected, you may resume your normal diet.

 

What time should I fast?                

  • Most people find it convenient to stop eating and drinking after 8:00 PM and to arrive at the laboratory early the next morning. Appointments can be made.

 

Should I continue to take my medications?          

  • Yes, unless your doctor tells you not to.

 

 

Fertility and Post Vasectomy Specimen Collection Instructions

 

Patient instructions for collection:

 

  1. It is required that the patient abstains from ejaculation for 2-3 days, (but not more than 7 days) before a sample collection.
  2. Specimen must be collected in the sealed, sterile container provided by the lab or your doctor’s office. Use of any other container or condom may render the sperm immobile and cannot be accepted for testing.
  3. Label the container with your first and last name, date and time of collection. Complete the information requested. Refer to Fertility Studies Form and/or Post Vasectomy Form
  4. Collect specimen directly into the container by masturbation. If a portion of the specimen is lost, the rest should be discarded and collection attempted at a later date.
  5. Close the labelled container tightly and place in a paper bag to protect from light. Keep near the body to maintain body temperature during the journey to the laboratory.
  6. 1428 Ouellette Ave. is the only lab that can accept samples for fertility testing and specimens MUST be received within one hour of collection to ensure accurate test results.
  7. Fertility Specimens ;
    • MUST be received within one hour of collection
    • Only testing site: 1428 Ouellette Ave
    • Wednesday and Fridays between 9 am – 1 pm
    • The patient’s health card and Fertility Studies Form must accompany the sample in order to process.
  8. Post Vasectomy Samples
    • May be dropped off at any MLW location
    • Monday – Saturday drop offs acceptable
    • The patient’s health card and Post Vasectomy Form must accompany the sample in order to process.

 

 

Glucose Tolerance Test

 

  1. Patient will be given the required amount of the glucose drink in accordance with the test requested.
  2. The patient is instructed to drink the dose within 5 minutes and the time of intake completion is recorded on the test requisition.
  3. The “timing” of the test begins when the patient finishes the drink.
  4. Blood specimens will be collected in accordance with the test requested. Collections may include Fasting, 1 hour, 2 hour and 3 hour draws.
  5. Patient reactions are not uncommon with the glucose tolerance test. For this reason it is important for the patient to stay in the waiting room for the duration of the test. These reactions may include nausea, vomiting, fainting or sweating.

 

 

Urine Sample Collection

 

 

Mid-Stream

 

  1. Early morning urine specimens are preferred; although urine collected at other times of the day are acceptable. A “mid – stream clean catch” urine sample is necessary for a culture so that any bacteria present around the urethra and on the hands do not contaminate the specimen.
  2. Use an empty sterile container for collection supplied by the lab or your doctor’s office.
    1. Label the container with:
      • your full name
      • date of birth or health card number
      • date and time you collected the specimen
  1. If you have a requisition, write the date and time of collection on the requisition.
    1. Wash and dry your hands thoroughly.
    2. Remove the container cap and set it aside (lid upside down). Do not touch inner surfaces of container.
    3. Wash your urogenital area (“lower parts”) with the towelette provided. Women – wipe from front to back between the folds of skin. Men – retract the foreskin (if uncircumcised), and clean the glans (head of the penis).
    4. The intent is to collect a sample midway through the urination process (hence the name “mid-stream” urine).
    5. Pass a small amount of urine into the toilet, (women – hold skin folds apart). This initial stream of urine may be contaminated with skin and urethral bacteria.
    6. Then midway through urination, urinate into the container. The container should only be 1/2 to 2/3 full.
    7. Replace the cap and tighten firmly.
    8. Remember to wash your hands well after collecting the specimen.
    9. Keep the urine sample refrigerated and submit to the laboratory within 24 hours of collection.

 

 

24 Hour Urine

 

Download Patient Information Pamphlet

 

A collection of all urine voided over a 24-hour period of time. Obtain a collection container from your doctor or the laboratory and follow the directions you are given for collecting your samples. To preserve the substance to be tested, the container may need to be refrigerated during the entire collection process.

  • After getting up in the morning, empty your bladder and discard that urine. Immediately record the date and time on the label on the container.
  • From this time onward for the next 24 hours collect all urine voided and save in the container provided. Collect urine in another container and pour it into the bottle you were given. When 24 hours are over, empty your bladder and ADD this urine to the container. Note the time.
  • Bring all of the urine collected to the lab. If you miss collecting one or more voids, consult your doctor or the laboratory for further instructions.
  • The specimen should be refrigerated during collection and until it is brought to the laboratory

 

 

Urinalysis (Chemical)

 

First morning specimen preferred, although urine collected at other times of the day is acceptable. Keep refrigerated until transported to laboratory

 

 

Microbiology ID & Sensitivities

 

Follow Specimen Collection Instructions for midstream urine. Refrigerate at 2-8°C IMMEDIATELY and submit to the laboratory WITHIN 24 hours of collection.

 

 

Chlamydia

 

  • 20 to 60 ml required
  • Patient should not have urinated 1 hour prior collection * patient can collect their 1st morning void, refrigerate and drop specimen off at lab
  • Label container with name, date of birth, time & date
  • Keep specimen refrigerated

 

 

Protein or Immunofixation Electrophoresis

 

Collect 1st morning urine into a 90 ml sterile container. Keep specimen refrigerated until transported to the lab. Minimum of 30 ml is required for testing.

 

 

24 hour – Protein or Immunofixation Electrophoresis

 

No preservative required.  Keep specimen refrigerated. Refer to protocol for collection of 24 hour urine.

 

 

Cytology

 

  1. Collect specimen in a sterile screw cap plastic bottle with an orange lid.
  2. Label bottle with two patient identifiers, i e: patient’s full name and birth date
  3. To prevent cell degeneration, the specimen should be delivered immediately to the laboratory after it has been obtained. If immediate delivery is not possible, refrigerate.

 

* A random specimen is required; we do not recommend an early morning specimen and NEVER a 24 hr urine collection.

 

           

Stool Collection

 

 

Culture and Sensitivity

Obtain a Cary Blair container (white lid with pink liquid)

  1. Empty the bladder.
  2. Wash and dry your hands.
  3. Lift the toilet seat. Place sheets of plastic wrap (e.g. Saran wrap®) over the toilet bowl, leaving a small dip in the center. Place the toilet seat down.
  4. OR have a clean sterile empty plastic container to collect the stool sample.
  5. Pass the stool onto the plastic wrap or into the container. Do not let urine or water mix with the stool specimen.
  6. Open the container and transfer small portions of the stool into the container. Try to choose areas that contain blood and or mucus.
  7. Do not over fill the container. Add stool to the fill line. Replace the lid and firmly tighten.
  8. Mix container well.
  9. Refrigerate the specimen until you take it to the laboratory. All samples should be delivered to the laboratory within 24 hours. Please be sure to indicate the date and time of collection on the requisition and on the specimen container.

 

 

O&P (Ova and Parasite)

Obtain a container with SAF fixative (yellow lid with clear liquid)

  1. Empty the bladder.
  2. Wash and dry your hands.
  3. Lift the toilet seat. Place sheets of plastic wrap (e.g. Saran wrap®) over the toilet bowl, leaving a small dip in the center. Place the toilet seat down.
  4. OR have a clean sterile empty plastic container to collect the stool sample.
  5. Pass the stool onto the plastic wrap or into the container. Do not let urine or water mix with the stool specimen.
  6. Open the container and transfer small portions of the stool into the container. Try to choose areas that contain blood and or mucus.
  7. Do not over fill the container. Add stool to the fill line. Replace the lid and firmly tighten.
  8. Mix container well.
  9. All samples should be delivered to the laboratory within 24 hours. Until sample can be brought to the lab store at room temperature. Please be sure to indicate the date and time of collection on the requisition and on the specimen container.

 

Clostridium Difficile Toxin 

Obtain an empty sterile container and a wooden applicator stick.

  1. Empty the bladder.
  2. Wash and dry your hands.
  3. Lift the toilet seat. Place sheets of plastic wrap (e.g. Saran wrap®) over the toilet bowl, leaving a small dip in the center. Place the toilet seat down.
    OR have a clean sterile empty plastic container to collect the stool sample.
  4. Pass the stool onto the plastic wrap or into the container. Do not let urine or water mix with the stool specimen.
  5. Collect about 2-3 teaspoonful of stool in the empty container. Place container in a sealed plastic bag.
  6. Wash and dry hands completely.
  7. Refrigerate the specimen until you take it to the laboratory. All samples should be delivered to the laboratory within 24 hours. Please be sure to indicate the date and time of collection on the requisition and on the specimen container.
  8. REMEMBER A LEAKING CONTAINER IS INFECTIOUS AND IT WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.

 

Please Note:

  • Hard “golf ball” size specimens will not be accepted.
  • If duplicate samples are requested by the doctor, they must be collected at least one day apart (18-24hrs) and each sample must be brought to the laboratory within 24 hours of collection.

 

Pinworm Collection

Your physician has ordered a test for pinworm that requires you to collect the specimen at home.

 

Obtain a container that has a sticky paddle attached to the lid. Do not touch this area with your hands.

  1. The specimen must be taken first thing in the morning prior to bathing or using the toilet.
  2. The area cannot be washed or wiped before collecting the specimen.
  3. Holding the paddle by the bare rounded end, press the sticky surface of the square end firmly against the skin around and across the anal opening. DO NOT insert the paddle into the rectum.
  4. Carefully return the paddle to the container. Tighten lid.
  5. Print your name, date and time of collection clearly on the label.
  6. Store container at room temperature and bring to laboratory within 24 hours of collection.
  7. Samples cannot be accepted on weekends.

 

 

Occult Blood

Patient will have a test requesting – Stool for Occult Blood test on OHIP requisition.

  1. Lab will give patient the Hemoccult II kit
  2. The patient instructions are printed on the outside of the kit

 

Sputum

 

Microbiology ID & Sensitivities

 

  1. The sputum specimen obtained should be the result of a deep cough and be of a thick nature, not saliva. Collection of an early morning specimen before breakfast facilitates obtaining such sputum since the patient pools respiratory secretions overnight. Make sure the specimen is expirated from the lungs and not just the throat.
  2. The patient should cough directly into the sterile collection container provided.
  3. It is important to transport the sputum to the laboratory within two hours of being obtained or, if delayed, to refrigerate the specimen.
  4. The specimen must be received in the laboratory within 24 hours of collection.

Please note patient’s full name along with the date and time of collection on the container.

 

Cytology

  1. Sputum is collected in screw-capped bottles.
  2. The best time for collection of sputum is early in the morning just after waking. Forceful, vigorous coughing at this time is often very productive.
  3. It is important that the patient rid his/her mouth of saliva and other material by spitting or rinsing the mouth with water before attempting to bring up any sputum.
  4. For those who experience difficulty, sputum coughed up at any time of day may be used.
  5. An adequate cytological examination has consisted of a series of three to five consecutive early morning sputum specimens.
  6. To prevent degeneration of cells, the specimen should be delivered to the lab immediately after being obtained. If this is not possible, the specimen should be refrigerated until the time of delivery.
  7. Sputum has to be differentiated from saliva which has no diagnostic value and contains only squamous cells of the buccal origin. A good sputum specimen is characterized by the presence of numerous alveolar macrophages.
  8. Saliva is thin and watery and contains poorly squamous cells and no pulmonary macrophages.
  9. Sputum is thick, viscous and mucoid and 5 to 10 cc is an adequate volume for processing.