As a medical assistant, you are performing reagent chemical strip analyses on patient specimens when you discover a specimen that is more than 2 hours old and has been sitting at room temperature during this time.
When you remove the lid from the container, you smell a foul, ammonia-like odor. The chemical strip indicates positive protein, positive nitrite, and positive bacteria. The microscopic analysis reveals four bacteria but no evidence of white blood cells.
What is the maximum length of time that a urine specimen should be left at room temperature?
If analysis cannot be performed within that maximum length of time, how should the specimen be handled?
Does the chemical analysis confirm your suspicion associated with the odor? Given the circumstances, can you trust the results on this specimen?
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