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Instructions for Nephrology Patients and Caregivers

How to collect a first morning urine sample

To collect the first morning urine, we ask that the last thing your child does before going to bed is empty their bladder into the toilet. Then they should go straight to bed and lie down. When your child wakes up in the morning, they should go straight to the bathroom and collect a sample of urine in a clean container.

What if my child gets up during the night?

As long as they will be lying back down, you should have them empty their bladder before getting back in bed, and then you can still collect a first morning void when they wake up in the morning.

What if my child wets the bed?

This will not affect the test, unless the child gets up during the night. A first morning void can still be collected as soon as your child wakes up.

What type of container should I use?

Any clean glass or plastic container can be used. It should be washed out prior to collecting the urine, but be sure that all the soap is rinsed from it.

What if I forget to collect the first morning urine?

You will have to start over and try again the next day. Don't collect the urine after your child has been up for a while or has already emptied their bladder after waking.

How to collect a 24-hour urine sample

You may use any clean container to collect your child’s urine, such as an empty milk jug or jar. The container must be washed and rinsed well, so there is no food or soap residue.

If we have provided you with a special container, please use that container only. Be sure to label it with your child’s first and last name. It’s easiest to do the collection on a day when you don’t have to leave the house much, such as a weekend.

Bring the container to our clinic or to the lab that is processing the test.

  1. When your child gets up in the morning, they need to empty their bladder into the toilet (just as they normally do). Do not save this urine. Make a note of what time it is.
  2. The next time they need to urinate, collect this urine into the container. If it’s easier, you may collect the urine into a cup or urinal, and transfer it into the collection container.
  3. Cap your container and place it in the refrigerator on a towel.
  4. Repeat steps 2-3 every time your child urinates. On the following morning, get up at the same time. Collect this first morning urine and save it for the last time.
  5. Keep the urine in the refrigerator until it’s time to bring it to the clinic. Write on the label the date and time you started and finished the 24 hour collection.

Note: If you spill some urine, or forget to collect even one void, you should discontinue the test and start over the next day. Your doctor will be using this information to make decisions about your child’s treatment, so it is very important that the test be accurate.

How to use Albustix

Albustix are a brand of urine dip sticks used to test for urine protein. They are available over-the-counter, but typically have to be ordered by your pharmacist. Some insurance companies will pay for urine testing strips.

To use the Albustix, collect a small sample of your child’s urine. Dip the end of the stick into the urine and compare it to the color chart on the container according to the package instructions.

When to use the Albustix

  • If your child is being treated with prednisone for nephrotic syndrome: Dip your child’s urine once a day. It is suggested to test in the morning. Continue until your child’s urine dips negative for three days, then call us for instructions.
  • If your child gets a cold, fever, or other illness: Dip once a day until the symptoms resolve. If positive for three days in a row, call us for instructions.
  • If your child looks puffy or swollen around the eyes, hands or feet: Dip once in the morning. If positive, call for instructions.
  • Routine testing can be done weekly.

Keep a record of the dip stick results on a calendar or notebook. Have these available when you call for instructions and when you come see your pediatric nephrologist.