Mid-Florida Pathology
Specimen Collection and Transportation Guide

Purpose: To establish proper protocol for the collection and transportation of patient specimens for routine histology/cytology examination in the laboratory.

Specimen Collection Requirements
- Paperwork must be filled out completely with patient and attending physician information. This should include patient date of birth, patient's first and last name, date of service for procedure, attending physician's name, etc.
- Specimen container must have at least two patient identifiers on the label. (Example: date of birth, patient's name, patient's medical record number.)
- Specimen must be received in fixative.

Reasons for Delay/Rejection of Specimens
- Specimen was not collected properly. (Example: incorrect fixative used.)
- Specimen label missing two patient identifiers or no label attached.
- Requisition form missing information needed for data entry or testing. (Example: LMP, LP, physician information, patient's, DOB.)
- No specimens received in specimen container.

Procedure for Collecting Specimen for Maximum Results
- Pre-label specimen container(s) with patient's name, DOB, specimen site, and collection date.
- Place specimen in fixative once removed from patient, this should be done immediately, not after procedure is over. Fixative should cover the entire specimen.
- Seal specimen container, use caution when working with formalin for this is a caustic chemical.
- Fill out requisition form with as much information about the patient's demographics and specimen information as you can.
- Once specimen is collected and pathology forms are completed place specimen and form in supplied biohazard bag and place in designated area for courier pickup.
NOTE: Fixative preference for specimen collection is 10% Zinc Formalin or 10% Neutral Buffered Formalin.

Slide Transportation
- Specimens collected at remote sites will be processed routinely at the main facility, Mid-Florida Pathology. Slides will be stored at Mid-Florida Pathology and paraffin blocks will be returned to the remote location when pathology report is finalized.
- Slides should be packaged appropriately for transportation. Slides should be in a slide folder, rubber bands should be wrapped around the folders tightly to reduce chances of sliding out, slide folders should be placed in a large zip lock bag provided by Mid-Florida Pathology, all paperwork should be in a opaque envelope with clasp to protect patient confidentiality.

Fixative Times
- Intervals between interruption of blood supply and placement into fixative should be a short as possible.
- Duration of Fixation-Adequate fixation time is needed to prevent distortion in subsequent processing steps. Approximately 6 hours of fixation should be allowed for most tissue specimens, although smaller biopsies can be processed sooner without a difference in the final outcome.
- Breast samples may require further testing such as Her2, etc. These fixation times are essential for proper evaluation. These specimens will be allowed to fix no less than six hours and no more than 48 hours.

Cytology Fixative
- Fluids submitted for analysis are susceptible to the same deterioration process as tissues and must be handled in the same manner. Fixative preference for Cytology: 95% Alcohol or Saccomanno’s Fixative.

Process of Labeling Errors
- Mid-Florida Pathology clerical office will notify facility of error made on specimen label or requisition.
- A document will be faxed or delivered to the facility to be corrected and signed by office personnel.
- The document will become part of patient's records at Mid-Florida Pathology.