Saline Gargle

Precautions

Droplet / Contact Precautions

  • Saline gargles are performed using droplet and contact precautions. Do not require an N95 respirator.

  • Change gloves and perform hand hygiene between each patient.

How to Collect the Sample

Containers

5 ml ADDIPAK sterile saline plastic ampule

Dry empty sterile container (orange cap)

Gargle

Note: saline and container may be different depending on available supplies

Specimen Collection

  • Explain the procedure to the patient. Ask them to wash/sanitize their hands.
  • When collecting the specimen, wear eye protection, gown, gloves, and a mask. Change gloves and wash your hands between each patient.
  • Twist the top off of the sterile saline. Ask the patient to tilt their head back, and open their mouth.
  • Depending on patient age and ability, the saline should be squeezed into the open mouth by the health team member, a guardian, or themselves.
  • Instruct the patient not to swallow the saline, and to put their mask back on.
  • Instruct the patient to swish saline back-and-forth in their cheeks for approximately 5 seconds, then tip their head back to gargle for 5 more seconds. They should repeat this cycle two more times, for a total of 30 seconds.
  • When complete, ask them to remove their mask and spit the saline gargle into the dry sterile container. Refrigerate the sample.
  • Ask the patient to wash/sanitize their hands.
  • Attach completed requisition and transport to the laboratory.

Label

MAKE SURE THE SPECIMEN LABEL INCLUDES

  • Patient’s legal name and date of birth

  • Patient’s Health Card Number or another unique identifier (as determined by healthcare provider)

MAKE SURE THE REQUISITION FORM INCLUDES:

  • Patient’s legal name and date of birth

  • Patient’s Health Card Number or another unique identifier (as determined by healthcare provider)

  • Date and time of collection

  • Physicians full name, address and physician registration number

DELIVER THE SPECIMEN

  • Delivery of sample(s) to the regional laboratory should occur within 4 hours from time of collection.

    • If transportation is delayed beyond 4 hours, the specimens should be refrigerated and transported to the laboratory using a cooler with ice packs.
  • Transport logistics needs to be maximized to ensure that specimens are received by the QEII laboratory within 24 hours.

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