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Stool Collection - Pathogenic Organisms - Clostridium difficile

Please collect stool specimens using the following guidelines. This will enhance recovery of pathogenic organisms and may eliminate the need for further or repeat testing.

Helpful Hints for Collection:

Standard Toilet: Use collection basin provided by the Lab. Avoid urinating in the basin.

Potty-Chair: Clean and thoroughly rinse reservoir. Allow to air dry before collection.

Diaper: Line diaper with plastic wrap or turn plastic-lined diaper inside out. Secure on child. Many disposable diapers have chemicals that will interfere with testing.

It is important that the stool specimen is NOT contaminated with urine or water. After bowel movement, transfer stool specimen to container provided by the laboratory.

Stool for Clostridium difficile

Stool (Fresh)

  1. A minimum of 2.0 ml of stool in a leak-proof container.
  2. Label container with patient name (first and last), date and actual time of collection.
  3. Refrigerate until transported to the laboratory.

Stool (Preserved)

  1. Use the attached spoon in each vial to obtain specimen from different areas of stool, especially where blood and/or mucus is observed.
  2. Add enough specimen to bring fluid to the fill line on the vial.
  3. Cap and mix vigorously.
  4. Label with patient name (first and last), date and actual time of collection.
  5. Bring to the laboratory. Preserved specimens are stable until the outdate on vial label.


  1. Avoid recent antibiotics, X-ray contrast material, anti-diarrheal medications, antacids, bismuth or oil instillation.
  2. Wait 10 days to collect a specimen after barium or other preparation given for X-rays.
  3. Wait 5 days after digesting anti-diarrheal or laxative preparations.
  4. Diapers are not acceptable.

Questions? Call 320-255-5999.

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