An automated dipstick urinalysis is often done as part of an overall urinalysis, but it can also be done on its own, depending on the doctor's concerns.
Once a urine sample is collected, a nurse or technician will place a specially treated chemical strip (dipstick) into it. Patches on the dipstick will change color to indicate the presence of such things as white blood cells, protein, or glucose.
The dipstick is then placed into a machine that uses beams of light to analyze the color changes. A machine reading can provide more detailed information than a manual reading.
The results of an automated dipstick urinalysis may point to diagnoses such as a urinary tract infection (UTI) or injury, kidney disease, urinary tract trauma, or diabetes. If test results are abnormal, other tests may be needed before a definite diagnosis can be made.
No preparation other than cleansing the area around the urethra (urinary opening) is required for the automated dipstick urinalysis.
Your child will be asked to urinate into a clean sample cup in the doctor's office, lab, or hospital.
The skin surrounding the urinary opening has to be cleansed just before the urine is collected. In this "clean-catch" method, you or your child cleanses the skin around the urinary opening with a special towelette. The child then urinates, stops momentarily, and then urinates again into the collection container. Catching the urine in "midstream" is the goal. Be sure to wash your hands and your child's afterwards.
If your child isn't potty trained and can't urinate into a cup, a small soft plastic tube (catheter) may need to be inserted into the bladder to obtain the urine specimen.
The technician or nurse then will place a dipstick into the urine sample and put the dipstick into an automated reader.
Collecting the urine should only take a few minutes. If your daughter is having her period at the time of the test, let the doctor know.
Because the test involves normal urination, there shouldn't be any discomfort as long as your child can provide a urine specimen. It's important to keep the area around the urinary opening clean before the test and to catch the urine sample midstream.
The results of the automated dipstick urinalysis usually do not take long, and your doctor will review them with you. If abnormalities are found, further urine tests may be needed.
No risks are associated with taking an automated dipstick urinalysis. If a catheter is used to obtain the urine, it may cause temporary discomfort. If you have any questions or concerns about this procedure, talk to your doctor.
The automated dipstick urinalysis is painless. Explaining how the test will be conducted and why it's being done can help ease any fear. Make sure your child understands that the urinary opening must be clean and the urine must be collected midstream.
If you have questions about the automated dipstick urinalysis, speak with your doctor.
Reviewed by: Yamini Durani, MD
Date reviewed: February 2012
|National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases This group conducts and supports research on many serious diseases affecting public health.|
|National Kidney Foundation (NKF) NKF seeks to prevent kidney and urinary tract diseases, improve the health and well-being of individuals and families affected by these diseases, and increase the availability of all organs for transplantation.|
|American Medical Association (AMA) The AMA has made a commitment to medicine by making doctors more accessible to their patients. Contact the AMA at: American Medical Association|
515 N. State St.
Chicago, IL 60610
|American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) The AAP is committed to the health and well-being of infants, adolescents, and young adults. The website offers news articles and tips on health for families.|
|American Diabetes Association (ADA) The ADA website includes news, information, tips, and recipes for people with diabetes.|
|National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) NDEP is a partnership of the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and more than 200 public and private organizations. Its mission is to improve the treatment and outcomes for people with diabetes, to promote early diagnosis, and to prevent the onset of diabetes.|
|Urine Test (Video) This video shows what it's like to get a urine test.|
|Getting a Urine Test (Video) If your doctor wants a urine sample, he or she means pee. It's easy to give a sample. Watch how this test is done in this video for kids.|
|Kidney Diseases in Childhood The kidneys play a critical role in health. When something goes wrong, it could indicate a kidney disease. What are kidney diseases, and how can they be treated?|
|Urine Tests Is your child having a urine culture or urinalysis performed? Find out why urine tests are performed, and what to expect when the doctor orders them.|
|Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections and Related Conditions Recurrent urinary tract infections can cause kidney damage if left untreated, especially in kids under age 6. Here's how to recognize the symptom of UTIs and get help for your child.|
|Urinary Tract Infections Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common in kids, but often can be prevented. Early detection and treatment are key.|
|Kidneys and Urinary Tract The bean-shaped kidneys, each about the size of a child's fist, perform several functions essential to health. Their most important role is to filter blood and produce urine.|
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