[Histonet] who grosses and embeds?

RSRICHMOND <@t> aol.com RSRICHMOND <@t> aol.com
Tue Jun 27 13:46:05 CDT 2006

The question of who is allowed to gross what surgical pathology specimens 
seems to keep coming up. Right now the regulatory agencies seem to be leaning 
toward making the pathologist do it all.

In contrast, nobody seems to be interested in the embedder - who in effect 
re-grosses small biopsy specimens. When I was a resident (around 1970) we used 
to fill out a sheet - listing the number of biopsy specimens for example - that 
the embedder consulted while embedding. I've worked in maybe forty surgical 
pathology services since then (as a locum tenens pathologist, mostly) and I 
don't think I've ever seen an embedding sheet again.

It's quite disconcerting when the endoscopist describes three specimens, I 
receive two, and the next day there's only one piece of tissue on the slide.

It seems to me that the College of American Pathologists (CAP) should make it 
a Phase II (immediate remediation required) to embed small specimens without 
an embedding sheet. 

Cowpath, Tantrum, and other surgical pathology data bases should be able to 
generate a compact case list that the count of specimens could be handwritten 
onto - Cowpath at least requires that a compact specimen log be handwritten.

And pathology residents should be required to come in during the wee hours 
and learn how to embed!

Bob Richmond
Knoxville TN and Gastonia NC

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