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collection of speciman for culture from breasts

by starintn starintn (Member)

OK, I thoroughly screwed up but at the time, I didn't know and I'm still not sure how to do this. I was to collect a specimen for culture from a woman who stated she had drainage from her breasts. The MD tried to express the fluid from the breasts but with no success. In a separate room, the patient stated to me that she could express the fluid for collection. She really had to squeeze the breast HARD and LONG. After about 20-30 seconds I finally saw a very small clear drop form. I collected on a sterile swab and inserted into the gel tube. I learned later that I contaminated the sample with skin cells. I could barely see the drop when collecting-I was collecting based on leap of faith-that I was seeing what I thought I was seeing and I am sure I touched her breast during the collection. The end of the swab turned a light grey color so I knew I collected fluid.

Does anyone have any pointers if there is a next time I have to do this? Should the area around the nipple have been cleaned with alcohol or saline? I've done wound swabs before but from the inside of a wound, nothing like this. I'm not a wound care specialist and we do not have one onsite. Thanks for any pointers!!!

I don't know the answer to your question, but I can be pretty sure that if I squeezed my breast really HARD and LONG that something would probably ooze out.

Why was this woman doing this to herself so that she was able to notice discharge in the first place?