delivery of specimens

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From:Cel Rutledge <> (by way of histonet)
To:histonet <>
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We have been having a problem with the condition of surgical specimens
that are delvered to pathology.  We have a central messenger center that
collects specimens from the clinics and surgery on a regular time
schedule.  They pick up specimens and then deliver them to pathology.  The
immediate problem is the careless with which they are handled.  They
"toss" them into a plastic or paper bag and then empty them on the
receiving desk.  To ones complete amazement-they leak. The clinics,
surgery and messenger supervisors have been contacted, warned, threatened,
verbally abused, begged and pleaded with, but still no end in sight to the

We have explained the problem with contamination, having to redo the
paperwork, and the time consuming effort involved in  handling this
problem, but nothing.  It is a double headed problem, but I feel that if
the messengers would not turn them every which way then the containers
that were not sealed correctly would not leak.

The clinics are furnished bags with special pockets for paperwork on the
outside of the bag while the specimen goes inside, unfortunately the put
the paper inside with the leaky specimen.

I would like some suggestions as to how other hospitals receive their
specimens.  Is this common?  Or, are we just lucky?

Cel Rutledge
San Francisco General Hospital

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