Monday, August 6, 2012

Pet peeve...

The container should be bigger than what you put in it! :)
This is universal and not confined to any one institution or medical facility, but I have a pet peeve.

I'm not sure why, but when submitting things for pathology the person putting it in the container feels like it is necessary to put the specimen in as small a container as possible... as though there is a formalin shortage and we must conserve every precious drop. Or that they'll be charged more if they use a slightly larger jar or chastised for wasting resources...

I have routinely seen specimens before where they were shoved into jars so small that the entire specimen was molded into the shape of the container (where I worked before, not here!) and the tissue pushed out almost all of the formalin. It is particularly annoying with fatty specimens, which tend to be the larger ones anyway.

It isn't a competition, no one is judging anyone for using a bigger jar. Please, by all means, use the bigger jar. I like to see a specimen floating freely in ample amounts of formalin (or at least more formalin than specimen in a container... five times as much tissue as fixative is not a recipe for success!) when I open a container, not be greeted by a jar where I can look at the jar and see the subcutaneous tissue smashed up against the walls.

Sorry for the rant folks...

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