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Beaumont Laboratory

Specimen Collection Manual: Pinworm Testing

Instructions

Pinworms usually migrate to the anus and lay eggs during the night. Therefore, the tape and paddle methods should be done in the morning, before the patient has defecated or bathed.

Cellophane Tape Method

  • Wash hands and put on gloves.
  • Use a piece of clear (not frosted) cellophane tape that is about 4 inches long.
  • Hold the tape between the thumb and forefingers with the sticky side outward.
  • Before the patient has risen from bed in the early morning (preferably while the child is asleep), place the sticky side of clear cellophane tape across the anal opening (right, top figure) with firm even pressure. A tongue depressor may be used.
  • Leave the tape in place for several seconds.
  • Remove the tape from the skin and gently place it sticky side down, onto a glass microscope slide (right, bottom figure).
  • Remove gloves and wash hands immediately after collection.
  • Label the slide with the patient's name and date of collection, and send it to the Microbiology Laboratory immediately.
  • With delays, refrigerate the specimen after collection. Pinworm larvae deteriorate rapidly upon heat exposure.

Paddle Method

  • This method is alternative to the cellulose tape slide technique. Paddles are available from the Beaumont Laboratory, contact Client Services at (800) 551-0488 for supplies.
  • Wash hands and put on gloves.
  • Hold the paddle by the cap and remove the paddle from the tube.
  • Before the patient has risen from bed in the early morning (preferably while the child is asleep) with the patient lying on his or her side and bending at the waist, separate the buttocks. Press the tacky surface against several areas of the skin around the anus.
  • Replace the paddle in the tube.
  • Remove gloves and wash hands immediately after collection.
  • Label the tube with the patient's name and date of collection, and send it to the Microbiology Laboratory immediately.
  • With delays, refrigerate the specimen after collection. Pinworm larvae deteriorate rapidly upon heat exposure.

Last Updated

04/18/2014

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This directory currently reflects information only for specimens collected and/or processed at the Farmington Hills, Grosse Pointe, Royal Oak, and Troy campuses.