[Histonet] RE: Renal biopsies and muscle biopsies

Mitchell Jean A JMitchell <@t> uwhealth.org
Mon Oct 22 13:08:10 CDT 2012

Jim:  I work in a "stand alone" neuromuscular lab and we do go directly to the OR's to retrieve muscle biopsy tissue.  

We offer this service for a number of reasons; we maintain excellent communication with surgery staff on muscle bx requirements; we do triage the tissue received on-site to determine if enough muscle is rec'd (especially in pediatric cases); we avoid any confusion with OR staff placing muscle in fixative; we get the tissue to the lab much faster with this process.  We also go to other hospitals in our city to personally pick-up muscle tissue and transport back to our facility. 

I have found it is well worth the time and effort sending lab staff to directly receive fresh muscle tissue. 

Jean Mitchell, University of Wisconsin Hospital & Clinics, Neuromuscular Laboratory  

-----Original Message-----
From: histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu [mailto:histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu] On Behalf Of Vickroy, Jim
Sent: Monday, October 22, 2012 7:58 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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