[Histonet] RE: Renal biopsies and muscle biopsies

Lynette Pavelich LPaveli1 <@t> hurleymc.com
Mon Oct 22 08:27:55 CDT 2012

In our hospital, the radiology techs are responsible for bringing the renal biopsies up to the department (in saline) as soon as the procedure is obtained. They show the specimen to the attending pathologist, who signs off on the radiology record as sufficient. Then the histotechs divide the specimen for the EM, IF and NBF specimens.
Our muscle/nerve biopsies are all done in-house up in OR and are sent directly to the lab in a dumbwaiter "fresh"  on saline-soaked gauze where the histotechs then divide up the specimen according to protocol. The nurses are responsible for delivery to the histology department.

hope this helps,


Lynette Pavelich, HT(ASCP)
Histology Supervisor
Hurley Medical Center
One Hurley Plaza
Flint, MI 48503

ph: 810.262.9948
mobile: 810.444.7966

From: histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu [histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu] on behalf of Vickroy, Jim [Vickroy.Jim <@t> mhsil.com]
Sent: Monday, October 22, 2012 8:58 AM
To: histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
Subject: [Histonet] Renal biopsies and muscle biopsies

I have been at the same hospital for over 34 years.   I have seen pathologists come and go, and have seen changes in services like everyone has, some good and some bad.  Since workflow changes demands that we do more with less, we are evaluating some of the extra things we do to see if  some of these duties need to be done by other staff and not histotechs.

In our hospital whenever a renal biopsy procedure is done in ultrasound they call the histology department and one of the staff go to the ultrasound and receive the tissue from the radiologist.  The tech then brings the tissue to the gross room and the grossing staff separates and processes the specimen.   In the old days ultrasound would page the renal pathologist and the renal pathologist would go get the specimens and then bring them to the gross lab, but it seems like many things this has now been relegated to the technical staff.   We also pick up renal biopsies and muscle biopsies specimens from another hospital in the same town that sends us renal biopsies since we have the local renal pathologist.

We do not routinely pick up any other specimens because we have a courier system, but the renal and sometimes muscle biopsy service still remains in the hands of the histology department.  I would like to know how other hospitals handle transportation of specialized specimens such as renal biopsies and muscle biopsies.  In the old days there was a purpose for a pathologist to be present since often the radiologist asked the pathologist to evaluate if he or she had enough adequate tissue, but today with better ultrasound methods rarely do the radiologists ask the techs to evaluate whether enough adequate tissue has been taken.

I need some background information from others before I approach the powers to be to come up with an alternate plan so that the histotechs can spend more time in the lab and less time being a courier service for these biopsies.  Of course an alternate way will have to include a method that is reliable and not threaten the patient results.

Your thoughts?

James Vickroy BS, HT(ASCP)

Surgical  and Autopsy Pathology Technical Supervisor
Memorial Medical Center

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