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Doctor insights on: Sputum

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Dr. Layne Gentry
589 doctors shared insights

Sputum (Overview)

Sputum is mucus that comes up from the lungs and can be a symptom of infection.


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What does bloody sputum mean?

What does bloody sputum mean?

Depends...: Blood could get mixed with sputum from a variety of locations. Dry nasal passages could crack and bleed into the pharynx getting mixed with secretions. Blood could come from the mouth, pharynx, trachea or esophagus if there was a lesion or infection. True bloody sputum coughed from the lungs should be evaluated as it could arise from infections or even cancer. Best to see your doctor. ...Read more

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Dr. Aaron Milstone
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21 years in practice
1M people helped
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Dr. Layne Gentry
589 doctors shared insights

Sputum (Overview)

Sputum is mucus that comes up from the lungs and can be a symptom of infection.


2

2
How long does the sputum culture take?

How long does the sputum culture take?

Hours to weeks: Most bacteria take hours to days to appear in culture. Bugs that cause TB and related infections can take up to 2 months. Some bugs can't be grown in culture at all. Its important to remember that not every bug in a culture is an infection and a negative culture cannot exclude some infections. Cultures are like every other test, with false positive and negatives that your doctor has to interpret. ...Read more

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Dr. Aaron Milstone
Board Certified
21 years in practice
1M people helped
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Whats a sputum culture?

Whats a sputum culture?

See below: Sputum is the mucus that you cough up. A culture means that the specimen (in this case sputum) is plated on a plate with growth medium and incubated to test for any bacteria (or fungi). The purpose is to see if an infection is causing an illness. If bacteria grows, it is identified with various reagents and then tested for antibiotic susceptibility for treatment purposes. ...Read more

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What does it mean to check sputum cs?

What does it mean to check sputum cs?

See below: Sputum is the mucus that you cough up. A culture means that the specimen (in this case sputum) is plated on a plate with growth medium and incubated to test for any bacteria (or fungi). The purpose is to see if an infection is causing an illness. If bacteria grows, it is identified with various reagents and then tested for antibiotic susceptibility for treatment purposes. ...Read more

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Dr. Aaron Milstone
Board Certified
21 years in practice
1M people helped
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5
Sputum ctyology 1of the test out of 3 atypical. Why would not all three be atypical? Why does only one show atypical out of three?

Mixed with good: Cytology looks for cell types. Most cells are going to be normal and doctor is looking for the few that aren't. So we typically get at least 3 to try not to miss something in the hopes that one is positive for what we are looking for. It is very rare for 3 of 3 to be atypical. It is like finding a needle in haystack. The more hay (spit) we look through maybe we will fit what we are looking for. ...Read more

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Any good tips on getting sputum out?

Any good tips on getting sputum out?

Huff cough: Cough techniques can be very helpful. Look online for huff cough techniques. Also if you have any bronchodilator medication (albuterol) or can get humidified air (like in shower), this can be helpful. ...Read more

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What does elevated eosenophils in sputum mean?

What does elevated eosenophils in sputum mean?

Many conditions: Eosinophils are a type of inflammaatory cell. They can be associated with a number of conditions, including allergic disease, asthma, eosinophilic pneumonia, parasitic disease and malignancy. Your physician may order an IgE, sputum culture, and obtain a genetic as well as travel history to determine the cause. Steroids are used to control inflammation. ...Read more

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Why does sputum change from white to green in the spitoon?

Why does sputum change from white to green in the spitoon?

Bacteria: Bacteria are responsible for the color change. Overtime and warm/moist conditions, bacterial growth increases tremendously. ...Read more

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Dr. Aaron Milstone
Board Certified, Pulmonology
21 years in practice
1M people helped
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