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Urinalysis (cont.)

Pros and Cons of Dipsticks

The main advantage of the urine dipstick test is that it is a convenient and rapid test. The results are usually determined within a few minutes after collecting the sample. Therefore, it is very useful in settings such emergency departments, urgent care facilities, or the doctor's office. It is also very cost effective and does not require special training to perform the test.

However, the dipstick may not be very accurate as the color changes are very time sensitive. For example, if the dipstick is not promptly analyzed as it is taken out of the urine sample, then the color changes may be inaccurate after more than a few minutes of exposure to urine. The information that urine dipstick provides may also be limited, as it is generally a qualitative test and not a quantitative one.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/12/2014

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