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What Shall I Do If I Suspect A UTI

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Cartoon of MSU To prove a urine infection a proper urine sample has to be obtained for sending to the laboratory. This may be obtained by one of the following methods. Please check with the nurse if you are unclear as to how to collect a sample from your child.

  1. MIDSTREAM SPECIMEN OF URINE (MSU) - This is the method used to collect urine specimens in all children who can pass urine when asked to. The reason a midstream specimen is asked for is that the beginning of the stream can be contaminated by organisms (bacteria, as mentioned earlier) which are around the entrance of the urethra (see diagram). The child should be encouraged to pass some urine, stop and then pass some into a sterile container.
  2. CLEAN CATCH URINE - Infants and young children often pass urine after they have been given milk or other feeds. Although it requires some patience, urine can be collected into a sterile tray provided by the surgery/clinic or you can catch part of the urine stream directly into the sterile container. Collecting urine into a potty is NOT acceptable.
  3. A URINE BAG may be used in infants. Your child’s private part should be cleaned with cool boiled water and the bag applied. The bag should be emptied immediately once urine has been passed. The urine should be put into the proper urine container from the bottom end of the bag and not out through the top. It is easy to contaminate such bags and you may have to start again. some units use special PADS to collect urine.
  4. SUPRAPUBIC OR CATHETER SPECIMEN - Only in special circumstances in young children do hospital staff obtain urine from the bladder by using a needle or using a catheter directly into the bladder.
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Content compiled by members of the Children’s Renal & Urology Unit, QMC Campus, Nottingham University Hospitals.

The National Kidney Federation cannot accept responsibility for information provided. The above is for guidance only. Patients are advised to seek further information from their own doctor.

NKF Controlled Document No. 120: What Shall I Do If I Suspect A UTI written: 16/07/2004 last reviewed: 14/11/2020