Determine the presence of microörganisms and to evaluate the type of specimen by type of cells seen (eg, PMN, epithelial)
Material from infected area
Smear (air-dried) made at bedside or immediately after collection is preferred or one made in laboratory from swab or clinical material.
Clean glass slides, swab in transport or clinical material in sterile container
Carefully select material from infected area with a sterile swab. Gently roll swab onto a clean glass slide to make a thin smear. Air dry the slide. Do not fix.
Maintain specimen at room temperature.
Inappropriate specimen transport device; improper labeling; specimen received after prolonged delay (usually more than 48 hours); stool or fecal source (see White Blood Cells (WBC).