Monday, October 7, 2013

That is not where those go... and OCME shoutout

The larger specimens show up in trashcan sized biohazard containers fresh since the formalin containers aren't big enough and are held in the morgue fridge until time for disposal. The specimen shows up in the gross room in the large container, I gross it, and then the lab tech takes them to the morgue which is tacked on to the back of the hospital.

I had a large specimen today and at the end I bundled everything back into the chux pad, put it back in the biohazard bag, and tossed it into the biohazard bucket. Then I triaged a specimen that needed better fixation and grossed a few small things. After a while I started doing a larger specimen and realized that I couldn't find my scissors anywhere. I checked under the cutting board, in the tool cleaning bucket, on the floor, everywhere! The dawning realization came that the only place the scissors could be was the bucket. Wrapped up in a chux a biohazard bag... in the biohazard can... in the the morgue... on the other side of the hospital. So glad that the lab tech is super nice and was willing to go get the bin for me (I wasn't going to even ask her to try to dig them out) since it was a steady day specimen-wise and I had enough work to keep me busy right up until time to go (and my husband is out of town so I had to get home by 7 to relieve the sitter).

So I dug everything out without blindly reaching into the bucket and stabbing myself in the palm.

Also, there was an article in the paper about one of the rotation sites we went to, you can read it here! Forensic pathology can be a very difficult job, but it is good to know there are people out there trying to give names to victims.

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