Sputum  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Sputum is mucus and is the name used for the coughed-up material (phlegm) from the lower airways (trachea and bronchi). In medicine, sputum samples are usually used for naked eye exam, microbiological investigations of respiratory infections, and cytological investigations of respiratory systems. It is critical that the patient not give a specimen that includes any mucoid material from the interior of the nose. Naked eye exam of sputum can be done at home by a patient in order to note the various colors (see below). Any hint of yellow color suggests an airway infection (but does not indicate between the types of organisms causing it). Such color hints are best detected when the sputum is viewed on a very white background such as white paper, a white pot, or a white sink surface. The more intense the yellow color, the more likely it is a bacterial infection (bronchitis, bronchopneumonia, or pneumonia).

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Sputum" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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