Preparing for a test

What to bring

You will also need to bring photo ID if you are having a test for any of the following reasons:

What to do before your test

Your pre-testing instructions will depend on the test you’re having, but the most important thing to do is drink plenty of water before your test – unless your GP has given you a reason not to. This will make it easier for our team member to conduct your blood test.

In some cases, you may be required to fast before your test. This means you will not be able to eat or drink for a set period of time. Fasting is necessary for some tests because some foods and drinks can affect your results.

Your doctor will advise if you are required to fast for your blood test.

A quick guide to fasting

Tests that may require fasting include

These instructions should be adhered to unless advised otherwise by your doctor.

After your blood test

Once the blood collection is complete:

Your pathology report will be sent directly to your doctor. Please make an appointment with your doctor to discuss results.

Rarely, patients may experience some bleeding, swelling, discomfort or bruising. Should this occur the following steps are recommended:

Bleeding at needle puncture site:
Discomfort or swelling around needle puncture site:
Excessive bruising:

Pathology testing for children - Paediatric Collections

When taking your child for a blood test, it is a good idea to explain why the test is necessary, and exactly what is involved. Often bringing a favourite toy, book or colouring activity can help your child feel more comfortable.

Children over the age of 12 years can have their collection performed at any of our centres. For children aged from 1 to 6 years, we have specialised paediatric collection centres with collectors who have been trained in paediatric care.

To find one of these, select “Paediatric Collection (1 to 6 years)” from the “Any test” drop-down menu in the search criteria.

Please call the collection centre you plan to attend ahead of time and make an appointment.

Sometimes your child or baby may require a urine sample to be collected for testing. Please see Urine Collection (Paediatrics) below for further information.

Pre-test collection information

The following pre-test collection information will ensure the specimen you provide to Laverty Pathology is in the condition necessary for correct examination and accurate result reporting.

Your Doctor has asked for the following test to be performed.

Test Requirements:
Instructions:
  1. To avoid incorrect results, you must relax and keep your arm still during a measurement until the cuff has completely deflated and the measurement has been taken.
  2. Avoid opening and closing the hand during the measurement and do not move the fingers.
  3. When the pressure in the cuff increases, you should: a. If standing: Let the arm hang loosely, place the hand in the trouser pocket or fingers in the waistband. b. If sitting: Rest the lower arm loosely on a table or other support. 
  4. Ensure the hose from the Blood Pressure cuff does not become kinked. 
  5. Before the pressure of the cuff is raised, a signal is given on each occasion throughout the day to warn you that a measurement is about to be taken.
  6. The “Event button” should be pressed at any time if you feel your blood pressure is raised.
  7. Press the “Day/Night” key, when going to bed at night and when getting up in the morning. The recorder will confirm the change with a signal.
  8. While sleeping, the unit must be placed on its side, so that the air tube cannot be kinked.
  9. Occasionally you may hear an audible beep from the monitor. This means that it was unable to take your blood pressure (usually arm movement). There is no cause for alarm; the monitor will retry to take your blood pressure again in about one minute. 
  10. You must return to the Collection Centre to have the monitor removed as soon as the 24hrs have passed.
Paying for your BPM:

Helicobacter pylori is a common organism which lives only in the stomach. Approximately one third of Australians are infected. The C14-PYtest is an accurate non-invasive test for H. pylori infection. The test measures the amount of the enzyme, urease, produced by H. pylori in the stomach by detecting the presence of labelled carbon dioxide in exhaled air.

Important Notes:

For pregnant/breastfeeding women and children under 10 years of age

Pre-Test Preparation
  1. With consent from your doctor, stop the following medications for a minimum of 4 weeks prior to the test:
    • All antibiotics e.g. Abbocillin, Amoxil, Augmentin, Cilicaine V, Doxycyline, Erythiocin, Erythromycin, Flagyl, Klacid, Minomycin, Moxacin, Rulide, Tetrax, Vibramycin
    • Bismuth-containing compounds e.g. Denol, Helidac 
  2. . With consent from your doctor, stop the following medications for a minimum of 2 weeks prior to the test:
    • Carafate, Sucralfate , Ulcyte
  3. . With consent from your doctor, stop the following medications for a minimum of 1 week prior to the test:
    • Proton pump inhibitors e.g. Losec, Maxor, Nexium, Pariet, Somac, Zoton
  4. The following medications are safe to continue to use prior to and during testing:
    • H2 receptor antagonists e.g. Amfamox, Cimetidine, Pepcid, Pepcidine, Rani 2, Ranitidine, Tagamet, Tazac, Zantac
    • Antacids e.g. Quick Eze, Gaviscon, Mylanta may be continued up until the day of testing
    • Probiotic preparations
  5. Fast for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight prior to taking the test. This includes all foods and drinks, e.g. tea, coffee and water. No smoking at least 8 hours prior to testing.
  6. On the morning of the test: no water or any form of drink, no food, no gum and no smoking. Teeth may be brushed but you must not swallow. Stop all antacids during the fasting period.

Drug Screening

Donor:

If you are required to have a legal drug screen, the preferred option is to go to a Laverty Pathology Accredited (AS/NZS 4308) Collection Centre. This will ensure that the collection procedures comply with the Australian Standard (AS/NZS 4308). Our Designated AS/NZS 4308 Collection Centres have been setup to facilitate sample collection according to the standard. 

What is Expected?

Prior to testing, you will be required to:

  1. Make an Appointment with the nearest Laverty Pathology AS/NZS 4308 Collection Centre. (Some centres cease legal drug screens at earlier cut-off times than publicised opening hours).
  2. The Australian Standard (AS/NZS 4308) requires evidence of donor identity. To satisfy this requirement bring photo identification (i.e. Current drivers license, passport, employer photo ID. etc) The preferable collection appointment time is between 11:00am and 3:00pm. If you cannot provide photographic identification, we are unable to perform the collection unless your Requesting Authority can confirm your identity.
  3. On your arrival you will be asked what medication you are currently taking. 
  4. You will then need to provide a urine sample under supervision.
Who do you Contact if you have any Questions?

Your first point of contact is your Requesting Authority. In many cases this will be your employer and their appointed delegate (often the Workplace Health & Safety Officer, Personnel Supervisor, Human Resources Manager or a General Practitioner can also request this test.) If they are unable to assist with your enquiry, they will usually contact our toxicologist and report back to you.

If not, you can call our Commercial Department who will assist you on (02) 9005 7090.

Please note: Out of pocket charge may apply.

Check with your requesting Authority.

Your Doctor has asked for the following test to be performed.

What to Expect:

An electrocardiogram (called an ECG) can be performed by our trained collectors.

You’ll be asked to lie on an examining table or bed. Electrodes will be attached to your arms, legs and chest. The electrodes are sticky patches applied with a gel to help detect and conduct the electrical currents of your heart. If you have hair on the parts of your body where the electrodes will be placed, the technician may need to shave the hair so that the electrodes stick properly.

A standard ECG takes just a few minutes.

The electrodes are then removed and you can resume normal activities. An ECG doesn’t involve medication or require recovery time. It is completely non-invasive, as the skin is in no way penetrated. The ECG is a safe procedure with no known risks. It does not send electric current into the body. On occasion, you may be allergic or sensitive to the electrodes causing local skin irritation.

When completed, the trace will be transmitted to our specialist cardiologists for interpretation and reported back to your treating doctor.

Paying for your ECG:

You will be bulk billed for your ECG if you are a:

  • Pensioner
  • Health care card holder 
  • DVA card holder
  • Patient under the age of 18 years and over the age of 80

 

You will need to show your card to the collector at the time of the procedure to ensure you are bulk billed. If your card cannot be presented, you will receive an invoice in the mail.

Other patients will attract a fee, which is partially rebateable by Medicare.

Your Doctor has asked for the following test to be performed.

Instructions:
  1. You will need to make an appointment for this test. 
  2. No preparation or fasting required.
  3. This test is performed on two separate days.
  4. Day 1 – A blood sample will be collected between 8:00am and 9:00am prior to taking the Dexamethasone tablets. 
  5. You will be asked to take two Dexamethasone tablets, with 1 glass of water at 11:00 pm of Day 1.
  6. Day 2 – Return to the Collection Centre between 8:00 and 9:00 am to have a second blood sample collected.
  7. This completes the test.

Test Requirements:

We supply you: 

Collection Instructions:

  1. Label tube No 1 with your full name, date of birth, date & time of collection, test name.
  2. Line a clean large plastic container with aluminium foil and place into the toilet bowl.
  3. Wash hands.
  4. Pass the faeces into the plastic container.
  5. Unscrew the “green sampler cap” of the collection tube, and place it where it can be easily reached, taking care not to spill the liquid.

    Step5
  6. Insert the stick end of the green cap into the faeces at least 5 times, each time in a different place.

  7. Return the stick back into the container tube and screw the cap tightly closed. * Shake the tube to mix the specimen with the transport liquid.

    Step7
  8. All 3 collected specimens can be stored at room temperature (15-30°C).
  9. The tubes (3) MUST be delivered to the Collection Centre as soon as the collection is completed. DO NOT deliver samples one by one.
  10. Repeat steps 1-9 for the collection of samples 2 and 3. Ensure tubes are marked 2 & 3 respectively.

Requires one specimen only

We supply you:

Instructions:
  1. Label container with full name, date of birth, time and date of collection.
  2. Using the spatula provided, place a small amount of faeces (about the size of a 10 cent coin) into the container.
  3. Replace top, seal container and place in a specimen bag and send to the Collection Centre as soon as possible.

An appointment is required for this test. Please phone your nearest Laverty Pathology Collection Centre to make arrangements. Collection Centres and the test availability can be found here.

We recommend the following Pre-Test Preparation for Optimal Results:
  1. NO diet is required for pregnant patients. We suggest you eat the type of foods you normally eat. 
  2. In non-pregnant patients, for the three (3) days before your test, you should eat “high carbohydrate” meals. We suggest you eat the type of foods you normally eat, but make sure that throughout the day you include in your diet all of the following foods:
    • 1 serving of breakfast cereal, porridge or spaghetti
    • AND 3 slices of bread or toast (or 1½ bread rolls)
    • AND 3 servings of vegetables
    • AND 3 pieces of fruit
    • AND 1 medium potato or 1 serving of rice.
    Children who are too small to be able to eat all of the above foods should eat whatever they can comfortably manage.
  3. If you do not follow the diet, you will not be turned away, as it is more important that the test is performed. However, our clinic staff will be happy to re-schedule you if preferred. 
  4. You are required to fast for eight hours prior to the test – which usually means an overnight fast.
  5. The maximum acceptable duration of a fast is fourteen hours – if the fast is longer than this, your referring doctor will be notified and consulted before the test is either rescheduled or carried out on the day.
  6. During a fast, you must have nothing to eat or drink, except for water. NO soft drinks, tea, milk, coffee or fruit juice may be taken during the fast.
  7. NO SMOKING on the day of the test and until the test is completed.
Information:

Important: While on the 3-day high carbohydrate preparation, if you should become very unwell, or notice that you are losing weight, feeling drowsy, very thirsty and are passing large amounts of urine, please contact your referring doctor immediately.

Preparation:
  1. Make an appointment to have your Holter Monitor fitted by your nearest participating Collection Centre.
  2. You should shower/bath before this appointment. You can’t get the monitor wet or remove the monitor to shower/bath once the monitoring begins. 
  3. Please make sure you wear loose fitting clothes on the day of your appointment and during the testing period. This is required because electrodes will be attached to your chest.
Procedure:
  1. You will be asked to record the timing of any events – symptoms of palpitations, skipped heartbeats, shortness of breath, chest pain or lightheadedness – in a diary that the collector gives you. When entering the symptoms in the diary also press the event button on the monitor.
  2. Once your monitor is fitted and you’ve received instructions on how to wear it, you will leave our centre and resume your normal everyday activities. Do not participate in strenuous activities.
  3. Once your monitoring begins, don’t take the Holter Monitor off — you must wear it at all times, even while you sleep.
After the Procedure:

Once your monitoring period is over, you’ll need to come back to our collection room to return the Holter Monitor and diary.

Instructions to Patients:

Your doctor may order these tests if you have signs of lactose intolerance. Your body creates glucose when lactose breaks down. The lactose tolerance blood test looks for the presence of glucose in your blood.

Pre-Test Preparation:
  1. No milk or dairy products for 3 days prior to the test. 
  2. You are required to fast for eight hours prior to the test – which usually means an overnight fast.
  3. You must have nothing to eat or drink. Water is acceptable, but NO soft drinks, tea, milk, coffee or fruit juices may be taken during the fast.
  4. The maximum acceptable duration of a fast is sixteen hours – if the fast is longer than this, your referring doctor will be notified and consulted before the test is either rescheduled or carried out on the day.
  5. NO SMOKING on the day of the test and until the test is completed.
Information:

Please note that you will be required to remain in the Collection Centre for the duration of the test. We suggest you bring a book to read to help pass the time.

NOTE: You may have a feeling of abdominal bloating and perhaps diarrhoea before the test has been completed, this is not a dangerous reaction.

Diet:

At least one day prior to and whilst collecting the specimen.

DO NOT EAT OR DRINK any of the following:

Fruit Vegetables Nuts/Seeds
Pineapple
Citrus Fruits
Dried Fruits
Jams
Bananas
Plums
Tropical Fruits
Avocado
Broad Beans
Broccoli
Brussel Sprouts
Cauliflower
Eggplant
Tomatoes
All (including peanut butter and tahini)
Cocoa Dairy Condiments
Chocolate
Cocoa
Milo
Cheese
Flavoured Milk
Smoothies
Yoghurt
Mayonnaise
Pickles
Sauerkraut
Vinegar
Meats Fermented Foods Other
Gravy
Processed Meats
Seafood (including canned)
Soy Sauce
Vegemite
Alcohol
Walnuts
Drugs:

Please list all medication (even over the counter preparations) currently being taken.

Special Requirements:

We supply you:

Please follow these instructions:
  1. The specimen is to be collected between 2 and 7 days after your last ejaculation.
  2. DO NOT use condoms, artificial lubricants, talcs, etc., as these will interfere with the test results. 
  3. Label the container with your surname and given name, date of birth, date and time of collection and test name.
  4. Collect the ENTIRE sample in the container provided by means of masturbation. Other methods, such as interruption of intercourse, are not suitable as there can be a loss of the first portion of the specimen. Place specimen into the specimen bag with the request form.
  5. DO NOT expose the container to extremes of temperature before or after specimen collection.
  6. During transport to the Laboratory, the sample should be kept between 20°c and 37°c. This is best achieved by keeping the sample next to your body during transport.
  7. Do not refrigerate specimen or allow the specimen temperature to rise above body temperature. Please Note: This test incurs an out of pocket expense. For details please ask your pathology collector 
  8. Inform reception that you have an urgent time critical specimen.

Special Requirements:
We supply you:
Please follow these instructions:
  1. The first specimen after the procedure is to be collected at three months and after at least 20 ejaculations. Subsequent specimens, if required, are to be collected as per your doctor’s instructions.
  2. Do not use condoms, artificial lubricants, talcs etc., as these will interfere with the test results.
  3. Label the container with your surname and given name, date of birth, time of collection and test name. 
  4. Collect the ENTIRE sample in the container provided by means of masturbation. Other methods, such as interruption of intercourse, are not suitable as there can be a loss of the first portion of the specimen.
  5. Place lid on container & tighten firmly to prevent leakage. Avoid cross threading.
  6. DO NOT expose the container to extremes of temperature before or after specimen collection. 
  7. During transport to the Collection Centre, the sample should be kept between 20°c and 37°c. This is best achieved by keeping the sample next to your body during transport.
  8. DO NOT refrigerate specimen or allow the specimen temperature to rise above body temperature.

Your Doctor has asked for the following test(s) to be performed. 

Instructions:

Materials we supply:

If at home, it may be useful to arrange pillows over the side of a bed and lie on them head downwards for about 10 minutes to drain the sputum from the lungs. The most adequate sample may be obtained early in the morning on rising.

Procedure:

  1. Label container number 1, (2 & 3 if required) with your full name, date of birth, date and time of collection, and test name. 
  2. Rinse your mouth with water. For patients with dentures, please remove the dentures first.
  3. A deep cough is needed to produce sputum sample directly into the container.
  4. Place the lid on the container and tighten the lid firmly to prevent leakage. Avoid cross threading the lid. 
  5. Specimen MUST be delivered to the Collection Centre on day of collection. If there is a delay specimen should be refrigerated.
  6. If 3 specimens are required, please repeat steps 1-5 for the collection of samples 2 and 3. Ensure containers are marked 2 & 3 respectively on the lids. 
  7. Please wash your hands after this procedure.

Urine Testing

Your doctor has requested that you provide one specimen or three consecutive mid-morning, mid-stream urine specimens.

Instructions:
Materials we supply:
Procedure:

First sample:

  1. Label the container with your full name, date of birth, date and time of collection and test name.
  2. Remove the lid from the urine container and avoid contamination of the inside of the container or lid. Note: Females – separate the labia (skin folds). Male – retract foreskin if uncircumcised.
  3. Pass an initial amount of urine into the toilet and then pass the container under and collect a minimum of 30mls (fill the jar 3/4 full) of urine, in the container.
  4. Place the lid on the container and tighten the lid firmly to prevent leakage. Avoid cross threading of the lid, and insert into the Specimen Bag.
  5. Return the sample to the Collection Centre on the day of collection.
    If there is any delay, refrigerate the specimen.
Important Notice:

Repeat steps 1-5 for the collection of the samples 2 and 3 if required. Ensure containers are marked 2 & 3 respectively on the lid.

We supply you:
Procedure:
  1. Label container with the baby’s full name, date of birth, date and time of specimen collection, test name.
  2. Wash your hands. 
  3. Remove the baby’s nappy.
  4. Wash the genital area thoroughly with soap and water. Dry thoroughly. 
  5. Open the urine collection pack.
  6. Remove the keyhole shaped opening on the urine bag without touching the inside of the bag.
  7. Remove the adhesive protector.
  8. Apply the bag over the urethral opening.
  9. After the urine has been passed, carefully remove the bag. 
  10. With scissors, snip the corner of the bag and pour the urine into the yellow top container.
  11. Place the lid on the container and tighten the lid firmly to prevent leakage. Avoid cross threading the lid. 
  12. Return the sample to the Collection Centre as soon as possible on the day of collection. If there is any delay, refrigerate the specimen.
  13. Wash your hands and any scissors after this procedure.

Your doctor requires you to collect a First Void Urine sample in order to test for Chlamydia Trachomatis and Neisseria Gonorrhoea.

Instructions:
We supply you:

Procedure:

  1. Label the container with your full name, date of birth, date and time of collection. Where the labels reads “Specimen of” write ‘Chlamydia-First Void Urine.’
  2. Wash hands.
  3. Remove the lid from the urine container and place it where it can be easily reached. Avoid contamination of the inside of the container or lid. 
  4. Pass the first 30-40ml (fill the jar 3/4 full) of urine into the container provided. Pass any additional urine in the toilet.
  5. Place the lid on the container and tighten the lid firmly to prevent leakage. Avoid cross threading. 
  6. Return the sample to the Collection Centre on the day of collection.

We supply you:

Procedure:

Collect ALL urine produced within an 8 hour period.

  1. We strongly advise that you avoid the contents of the container and suggest that you collect your urine into another container (e.g. clean ice cream container) and then pour into the urine container.
  2. Empty your bladder into the toilet just before bedtime and record the time eg. 10:00pm and date on the container provided.
  3. Collect all subsequent urine samples into the container, up to and including the final specimen, which is to be collected 8 hrs. later e.g. Next morning, empty bladder into the bottle. This will complete the collection.
  4. Place the lid on the container and tighten the lid firmly to prevent leakage. Avoid cross threading.
  5. Record the starting and finishing date and time of collection on the container. 
  6. The container should be kept in a cool place during collection.
  7. Bring the container to the Collection Centre within 4 hours of finishing the collection.

Please note that if any urine is accidentally lost/spilt you must notify the collector when returning the sample.
Please telephone the Chemical Pathologist on 02 9005 7000 if you are uncertain about any of these instructions.

It is essential that urine specimens are carefully collected for accurate laboratory results. Please follow the instructions exactly. If you are unsure how to collect the specimen, ask our staff to explain.

We supply you:

Procedure:

Collect ALL urine produced within a 24 hour period.

  1. We strongly advise that you avoid the contents of the container and suggest that you collect your urine into another container (e.g. clean ice cream container) and then pour into the urine container.
  2. Empty your bladder into the toilet soon after getting out of bed in the morning and record the time (e.g. 6:00 am) and date on the container.
  3. Collect all further urine samples into the container, up to and including the final specimen, which is to be collected 24 hrs. later e.g. Next morning, empty bladder into the bottle. This will complete the collection.
  4. Place the lid on the container and tighten the lid firmly to prevent leakage. Avoid cross threading.
  5. Record the starting and finishing date and time of collection on the container.
  6. The container should be kept in a cool place during collection. 
  7. Bring container to the Collection Centre within 4 hours of finishing the collection.

Please note that if any urine is accidentally lost/ spilt you must notify the collector when returning the sample.

Please telephone the Chemical Pathologist on 02 9005 7000 if you are uncertain about any of these instructions.

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