Test directory: Gram Stain

Ordering Code615
Test NameGram Stain
Preferred SpecimenAspirate, Tissue or body fluid
Preferred ContainerSterile container
Note: Gram stains are routinely performed on Lower
Respiratory Specimens (93) and CSF specimens (620)
Other Specimen/ContainerSwab of any body site in bacterial transport container (e.g. Culturette), Air Dried slides
Optimum VolumeBody Fluids: 5 mL Gram stain is performed on centrifuged sediment. If less than 2 mL of specimen is received, a direct gram stain is done
Tissue: 1 gm
Any Body Site Swab: 2 Swabs
Aspirates: 3 mL
Slides: 2 Slides
Collection InstructionsIndicate specimen source and if a culture is desired, on the requisition
Slides: If a culture is desired, send a separate specimen for culture in the appropriate sterile container/transport vial.
Handling InstructionsBody Fluids: If >50 mL is collected, send a 10 mL aliquot of the well- mixed specimen
Tissue: Add sterile normal saline to prevent drying of specimen
Aspirates: If collecting in a syringe, remove needle and cap syringe securely
Slides: Allow slides to air dry before placing them in slide holders for transport. DO NOT refrigerate slides.
Transport RequirementsBody Fluids, Tissue & Aspirates:
Oahu: Refrigerated
Airline: Refrigerated
Any Body Site Swab & Slides
Oahu: Ambient
Airline: Ambient
Specimen StabilityBody Fluids, Tissue & Aspirates: Ambient: 2 Hours Refrigerated: 24 Hours Frozen: Not Stable
Any Body Site Swab: Ambient: 2 Days Refrigerated: 2 Days
Slides: Ambient: 2 Days
Rejection CriteriaDry cotton swab, Frozen, Specimen older than stability limits, Catheter tips sent for gram stain, Specimens in formalin, Swabs in charcoal transport, Syringe with needle attached, Urine specimens are not acceptable; contact
Technical Director if requested
Note: Specimens with rejection concerns that cannot be recollected (e.g. surgical tissue) will be processed upon receipt and the ordering physician consulted.
Avail. StatYES
Analytic Time1 Day
STAT results are available within 1 hour of receipt in the testing department.
MethodologyMicroscopic examination of smear for bacteria and differentiation using a gram stain.

Reference range(s)

ComponentAgeMale NormMale Critical LowMale Critical HighFemale NormFemale Critical HighFemale Critical LowUnitsAdd'l info
SourceALLSee report.
Gram Stain ResultALLSee report.