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Starship Paediatric Respiratory Services

Public Service, Respiratory, Paediatrics

Sputum Microbiology

If your child regularly coughs up sputum (also called mucus or phlegm), the doctors may want to take a sample of this to see if any particular organisms are growing in it. For those children who cannot cough up phlegm there are other methods to get a sample including taking a swab from the nose, or from the back of the throat. These swabs are a little unpleasant for younger children, but take only seconds to perform. There are no long lasting ill effects from swabbing. The result from the swab takes approximately one week to come back to the doctors.

This page was last updated at 12:53PM on July 7, 2021.