Time taken for Sputum test results - Lung Conditions C...

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Time taken for Sputum test results

Morrison10 profile image
19 Replies

Due to being born with defective lungs, I have to send sputum samples to my GP surgery. I used to get results within 4 days by telephone call from surgery and if needed would start appropriate antibiotic. Had telephone call from surgery yesterday Friday afternoon, pseudomonas partying in lungs again. This was 8 days from when sent sample, they had result on Thursday, but didn’t tell me until yesterday afternoon. Just as well I keep supply of 3 antibiotics only ones that work for me now. Has anyone else had such delay, what is your average time for results?

19 Replies
Alberta56 profile image

Grrr! Your surgery needs a bomb behind it. Except that would delay them still further.

crashdoll profile image

It depends on the lab. My GP sends to the local lab which does a basic screen and cultures take around 5 working days. The hospital does extended cultures and can take up to a few weeks. Regardless, it’s frustrating when they have the results and don’t tell you. If the GP surgery is busy and doesn’t get around to calling me, I will phone them instead.

Morrison10 profile image
Morrison10 in reply to crashdoll

Thanks, informative and interesting. I use to telephone for results, but receptionist who answer enquiry don’t always give correct information, on one occasion I was told that it was OK, even when I had an bad infection. Since then they do not now give results, has to be medically qualified. My surgery is now part of Group Practice, my hospital consultant is not allowed to address her letters to my GP, but to an unknown doctor at Group practice. The NHS is badly over managed.x

crashdoll profile image
crashdoll in reply to Morrison10

Oh wow, that’s really bad if they give the wrong information! I know some surgeries have online access to all test results but I’ve never managed to get mine up and running.

Izb1 profile image
Izb1 in reply to crashdoll

My surgery wont set it up, I am sure they think we are all numbskulls and my surgery reception staff still give out results and dont know what they are talking about. Even a simple blood test abroad they print out and give it to you but wont here in the UK, its very frustrating x

Jaybird19 profile image

Depends on how long the lab cultures for before issuing report to surgery.

My understanding is that like non-cf bronchiectasis, PCD culture is conducted under cf protocol. This means samples are run for longer than standard, but how busy the lab is will be a factor, along with whether it’s positive. As a general rule of thumb, I was told that a sample will be considered fully negative if no growth at all by day 5. Positive cultures will usually start to grow within a day or two, but it may take several days to correctly speciate and type any bacteria. The shortest turn around I’ve personally seen for a positive bacterial culture was 4 days, the longest was 10, and those were as an inpatient. If you add on reporting time for primary care (the GP), that would take the time to anything from 5 days up.

Phill1 profile image

I would ..and have ..rang into the hospital respiratory nurse team to get my results. It's quicker & guarantees that you're speaking to someone that knows what they are talking about as well..

busygardener profile image

yes i am afraid my sputum samples always take over 7 days,got told they take longer to culture,i keep an eye on patient access to see when the surgery recieve them,also found they wait for the gp who sent them to read results and some of the gps in my practice are part time .Have found quicker to send via respiratory nurses,all a bit of a pain .

Lfcpremier profile image

Same here.Used to be 4 days now a week. Short staffed as everywhere I believe.🙁 What antibiotics do you take for pseudo please?x

Morrison10 profile image
Morrison10 in reply to Lfcpremier

Hi, I take Ciproxin 750, and Septrin Forte, know these are original names, but easier to record! Yes I speak to my consultants secretary sometimes to get results, and confirm which ab I’m taking. Have kept own ab for many years, and have extensive records. Had 6 iv courses with ceftazim but did didn’t clear lungs so as going on biking holiday started taking them together. One of our friends arrived at guest house with chesty cough etc, so I continued taking both for extra week. After I was clear, clean Scottish highlands air may have helped, didn’t need ab again for 46 weeks. Damaged kidneys and liver, but they recovered without treatment. My consultant wants me to have another iv course at home, have to go to hospital to be set up, and mustn’t drive yourself. As widow with two disabled daughters not easy, but as Ive learnt always ways to resolve issues. Best Wishes, Jean x

Lfcpremier profile image

Aw thanks. You sound amazing! I was ill with ciprofloxacin, affected muscles & tendons badly but would prefer it to risk it to ivs which I've never had. 🤔

Morrison10 profile image
Morrison10 in reply to Lfcpremier

Sorry Ciprofloxacin had bad effects. Over years sometimes I have had adverse reaction to medicines, have to try get body to accept them, I take 4 carbocisteine every day to thin mucus, but because of adverse effects had to steadily increase dose from 1 per day until now take full dose.

Tykelady profile image

I find that the procedure of saying "If you don't hear from us assume it's okay" very annoying in view of the fact that information does get lost, or even ignored, quite frequently. I want to hear the result and quickly.

Patk1 profile image

I waited a week in march.not good as was HIB and led to me being severely ill for 3 mths!still struggling to recover, a month after that.x

BionicLady profile image

That is not on!

Mine can take 5-7 days easily and it is the same with my hospital which is now doing postal.

I do hope that is helpful and you feel much better soon despite the dreaded pseudo!


Beth1949 profile image

I'm not saying this is the case in your situation, but......

Since 2 years ago with the start of Covid, the excuse for slow or poor service is "Due to Covid". Due to covid, an item will be out of stock, due to covid, wait time for everything will be longer, due to covid everything will cost more, due to covid "insert issue here".

"Due to covid" will the the excuse for bad service for the next 20 years. Long after the absence of the covid virus.

Thank you for letting me get that off my chest! Due to covid, I feel better now! Beth

Morrison10 profile image
Morrison10 in reply to Beth1949

Hi Beth, thanks for reply. Yes Covid has had big effect, and common excuse. However because I was born with PCD and with increased age, I’m very vulnerable to chest infections, have had to send sputum samples for many years, and the delay in getting result this last time is the longest ever, and undoubtedly put down to Covid! Glad you feel better now. Jean

Beth1949 profile image

I can't imagine living with lung issues all your life. I developed Bronchiectasis with asthma in my late 30s. I'm now 72.

I've managed to keep it under control for the past 7 years (I retired 7 yrs ago and moved to an area with better air quality). Up until then, I was always sick and would have numerous bronchoscopies to clean out my lungs.

But, I have noticed (and breathing tests at the doctors) that my stats are slightly down and that I get short of breath quicker over the past 2-3 years. Part of that is most likely due to my age.

Take care, Beth

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