>I listened to a talk from a respiratory Dr. who thinks sputum for C&S is
>a useless test and should not be done, because it is always full of
>normal respiratory flora and very difficult to pick out the pathogen.
The key to a successful sputum culture is the initial Gram stain. A properly
screened stain will rule out a saliva specimen and then only the significant
specimens will be cultured. Comparing the predominant organism from the Gram
stain with the predominant organism in the culture will yield the best results.
The lab has no control over whether or not an X-Ray was done or whether or not
the doctor ordered the culture with regard to the X-Ray.
I think that a significant finding in a Gram stain AND a significant finding on
the culture gives a pretty strong indication of an infection.
John Gentile M(ASCP) President - Rhode Island Apple Group
yjgent at aol.com
Microbiologists do it with culture.