Surgical Pathology Specimen Submission

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Purpose:

To provide physicians with instructions for the submission of surgical pathology specimens to maintain specimen integrity and to ensure accurate and timely diagnosis.

Identification:

To comply with the College of American Pathologists (CAP) standards for specimen processing the specimen containers must be labeled with the label placed on the side of the container (not the top) with the following information:

  • Patient name (first and last)
  • A unique patient identifier (i.e., DOB, SSN, MRN)
  • Specimen source

Specimen requisitions must be completed with the following information:

  • Facility name/address
  • Requesting physician
  • Date/time of procedure
  • Patient demographics
  • Test requested
  • Specimen source

    • Be precise (“upper left back” vs “back”)
    • Label laterality (“left ear” vs “ear”)
    • One source per line

Preservation:

Specimens must be placed in containers that allow the specimens to maintain their shape with enough neutral buffered formalin (NBF) to allow maximum tissue penetration.

Special Handling:

Some testing requires that specimens be received “fresh” (no media) or in a media other than NBF. The container should be labeled accordingly.

  • Direct Immunofluorescence (DIF) – specimens submitted in Michel’s or Zeus fixative
  • Genetic testing – specimens submitted “fresh”
  • Flow Cytometry – specimens submitted in RPMI
  • Urinary calculi analysis – specimens submitted “fresh”

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