Taking urine samples from infants

Parents and clinicians reported high satisfaction using the method.


Urinary tract infection (UTI) is one of the most common bacterial infections in young febrile infants, but doctors know that collecting a urine sample to diagnose or exclude UTI can be very challenging in practice.

Recently, researchers in Australia conducted a randomized controlled trial in a pediatric hospital emergency department to test a method that could stimulate voiding within 5 minutes. It’s called the Quick-Wee method, and the technique involves the clinician rubbing the suprapubic area of the child in a circular pattern with gauze soaked in cold saline held with disposable plastic forceps. In the trial, this was done until the sample was obtained or until 5 minutes passed.

A baby crying. Petro Feketa/iStockphoto
The researchers found the Quick-Wee method resulted in a significantly higher rate of voiding within 5 minutes compared with standard clean catch urine (31% vs. 12%, P less than .001). “The Quick-Wee method requires minimal resources and is a simple way to trigger faster voiding for clean catch urine from infants,” said coauthor Jonathan Kaufman, MD. “Parents and clinicians reported high satisfaction using the method.”

For some young children, when a urine sample is required, a catheter or suprapubic needle aspirate sample will be indicated, he added. “But for many others, the Quick-Wee method may allow clinicians to collect a clean catch sample, and spare the need for painful and invasive procedures in some circumstances.”


Kaufman J, Fitzpatrick P, Tosif S, et al. Faster clean catch urine collection (Quick-Wee method) from infants: randomised controlled trial. BMJ 2017;357:j1341. doi: 10.1136/bmj.j1341. Accessed June 12, 2017.

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