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Histology Associates Manual   Printable Manual

Proper Handling of Surgical Specimens

  • Proper identification of the specimen and its anatomic location is of utmost importance in order to assure accurate reporting of results.
    It is absolutely imperative that the pathologist receive all the pertinent information regarding the lesion to be examined.
  • Tissue that is removed surgically must be properly preserved.
    This is necessary in order to obtain quality microscopic sections for the demonstration of morphological alterations.
  • Do not allow the tissue to dry — place in the fixative immediately after removal, the fixative should completely cover the specimen.
  • Histology Associates provides all necessary supplies at no additional cost.

Caution: Specimen jars may contain formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is toxic if inhaled or swallowed. It is irritating to the eyes, respiratory system and skin. There is risk of serious damage to the eyes. It may cause cancer and repeated or prolonged exposure increases the risk. If formaldehyde accidentally contacts the eye or skin, wash immediately with large amounts of water and seek medical attention.

 

Mailing Instructions for Transporting Specimens

Surgical Specimens

  1. Place surgically removed tissue (i.e. skin, soft tissue, bone, nail, etc.) in supplied specimen bottle with 10% formalin or Prefer.
    Bottles containing liquid must be placed in a plastic bag and sealed prior to mailing.
    It is not necessary to refrigerate.
  2. Place dry nail clippings or skin scrapings in plastic bag and seal.
    If sending nail clippings and skin scrapings from the same patient, submit each specimen in its own container with its own requisition form and label accordingly.
  3. Affix a label to the specimen bottle or bag and complete all information on the label including:
    • Patient’s full name and date of birth
    • Date of service
    • Specimen source
    • Physician’s name
  4. Complete information requested on the pathology specimen requisition form. Make sure to include the following:
    • Patient’s full name, date of birth, and sex
    • Date of service
    • Select which procedures you would like performed
    • Specimen source
    • Pre-op diagnosis
    • Any pertinent clinical information
  5. The specimen bottle or bags with the properly completed label affixed should be placed in one of the provided bubble mailing envelopes along with the pathology specimen requisition form.
  6. Drop the bubble mailing envelope in a United States Postal Service (USPS) Mailbox, drop it off at your local post office, or simply give it to your office’s mail carrier. If expedited shipping is preferred a FedEx account can be set up by request.

 

Quality Assurance Program

Handling of Specimens

  • All specimens are accessioned. They are assigned a 6 digit I.D. number which is computerized as a permanent record of identity throughout all phases of processing and preparation.
  • Hematoxylin and Eosin (H & E) stains as well as all special stains are validated by known controls.
  • Cases are randomly reviewed by a second pathologist every six months for quality assurance.

Second Opinions

  • When indicated, an outside consultant may be utilized to confirm a diagnoses.