How It Feels
If you have discomfort when taking a deep
breath or when coughing, obtaining a sputum sample may be uncomfortable. If you
need to inhale the aerosol mist to produce a sputum sample, you will often feel
a deep, uncontrollable urge to cough.
During bronchoscopy or
collection of a sputum sample using a catheter, you may feel a strong urge to
cough as the bronchoscope or catheter passes into the back of your throat. You
may also feel as if you cannot breathe. Try to relax and breathe slowly while
the bronchoscope or catheter is in place. If you are given medicine to numb
your throat and nose, you may feel as if your tongue and throat are swollen and
that you cannot swallow.
Your throat may feel sore following bronchoscopy
or collection of a sputum sample using a nasotracheal catheter.
you have severe
bronchitis, you may find it hard to breathe
during collection of a sputum sample using a nasotracheal catheter.
A sputum culture is a test to detect and
identify bacteria or
fungi that are infecting the lungs or breathing
passages. Some types of bacteria or fungi grow quickly in a culture and some
grow slowly. Test results may take from one day to several weeks, depending on
the type of infection suspected. Some organisms (such as Chlamydophila pneumoniae and mycoplasma) do not grow in a
standard culture and need a special growth medium to be detected in a sputum
Sputum that has passed through
the mouth normally contains several types of harmless bacteria, including some
types of strep (Streptococcus) and staph (Staphylococcus). The culture should
not show any harmful bacteria or fungi. Normal culture results are
Harmful bacteria or fungi are
present. The most common harmful bacteria in a sputum culture are those that
tuberculosis. If harmful bacteria or fungi grow, the culture
If test results point to an infection, sensitivity testing
may be done to determine the best antibiotic to kill the bacteria or fungus.