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Comparison of 2 Techniques Used to Obtain Sterile Urine Specimens From Urethral Catheters

Basak, Tulay PhD; Uzun, Senay PhD

doi: 10.1097/NUR.0b013e3182955756
Feature Article

Objective: The objective of this study was to compare the rates of urine contamination and the frequencies of minor adverse events between the vacuum tube and injector techniques methods for the collection of sterile urine specimens.

Design: This study was a cross-sectional study.

Sample: The sample population was composed of patients who underwent a urodynamics procedure.

Setting: This study was performed at the urodynamics unit of a rehabilitation and care center in Turkey.

Methods: Sterile urine specimens (n = 576) were collected from 144 patients using the vacuum tube technique and the injector technique; the rates of urine contamination and minor adverse events were evaluated. χ 2 Statistics and Fisher exact tests were used to assess the contamination rates and frequencies of minor adverse events during the collection of sterile urine specimens.

Results: The contamination rate of urine specimens collected using an injector was 0.9% (P > .05). The rate of minor adverse events during specimen collection was lower when using the vacuum technique than when using an injector and sterile urine container (2 vs 36 events, P < .05).

Conclusion: The vacuum tube technique of urine specimen collection was not superior to the injector technique in regard to contamination. The use of the vacuum tube technique for the collection of sterile urine specimens can prevent minor adverse events related to spillage/leakage of urine.

Implications: More research from multiple settings and work environments is needed to strengthen the evidence base of vacuum tube technique of sterile urine specimen collection.

Author Affiliations: Instructor (Dr Basak), Fundamentals of Nursing Department, School of Nursing, Gulhane Military Medical Academy, Ankara; and Associate Professor (Dr Uzun), Nursing and Health Services, Faculty of Health Sciences, Yeditepe University, Istanbul, Turkey.

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Tulay Basak, PhD, Gulhane Military Medical Academy, Etlik, Ankara, Turkey 06010 (;

© 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins