[Histonet] fixation documention for her2-neu

Richard Cartun Rcartun <@t> harthosp.org
Mon Jun 16 17:31:12 CDT 2008

I've asked our breast surgeons and interventional radiologists to put the time that the specimen goes into the formalin container (in their office or in radiology) on the pathology requisition.  Pathology personnel (residents, fellows, PAs, and attendings) are responsible for noting the time of "formalin contact" on the pathology requisition for excision specimens received from our OR.  We are in the process of instituting a 3:30 pm cut-off time for all "large" specimens.  Our tissue processors start at 5:30 pm and have 4 hours of formalin on them.


Richard W. Cartun, Ph.D.
Director, Immunopathology & Histology
Assistant Director, Anatomic Pathology
Hartford Hospital
80 Seymour Street
Hartford, CT  06102
(860) 545-1596
(860) 545-0174 Fax

>>> "Cynthia Robinson" <Robinsoc <@t> mercyhealth.com> 06/16/08 4:23 PM >>>
We are having quite a time deciding how we are going to handle documentation concerning fixation for specimens requiring Her2-neu IHC testing and interpretation.  What is the actual fixation start time?  Is it when the large specimen first has 10% formalin added or when the specimen is actually grossed and sections are taken?  The CAP guidelines were discussed in Denver at the NSH meeting and I understood that the start time was when the specimen was cut open or 'breadloafed' or when it was grossed in.  However, this is not stated very clearly by CAP.  What are you doing out there in Histoland?  Are you using a general statement on your reports to reflect processing within 6-48 hrs fixation, < 6-48 hrs fixation or > 48 hr fixation or are you actually documenting times when formalin was added, gross time, processor start and end times?
Please comment as I need to give my supervisor and the pathologists other perspectives on this controversial issue.
Cindi Robinson HT(ASCP)
Mercy-Sioux City
801 Fifth St
Sioux City IA 51101
Dunes Medical Laboratories
350 W Anchor Dr
Dakota Dunes SD 57049
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