Catheter specimens are usually obtained from the critically ill. The sampling site should be prepared aseptically prior to sampling. The specimen should be sent to the laboratory immediately and examined microscopically for organisms, casts and crystals. Urine is plated onto culture medium with a calibrated loop and incubated for 18-24h prior to examination. Bacteria >108/l (or a pure growth of 105/l) represent a significant growth. All catheter specimens show bacterial growth if the catheter has been in place for >2days. Isolation of the same organism from blood confirms a significant culture.

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