Need Help!

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From:"Mary Bryhan" <>
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Hi all - 

We had a nasty situation last week in our lab.  The tech that started the tissue processor weekly maintenance had to go home early due to illness.  She left a detailed note of what needed to be done to complete the process.  Meanwhile our PA decided to cassette up a months worth of Autopsies and the tissue processor had to be loaded early.  When the tech who was going to complete the tissue processor maintenance began, she saw that the first container on the processor was empty and filled it.  The results were fixative contamination into all other stations and 200 blocks that had to be reprocessed.  Pathologists looking for blood, tears and the right hands of all involved.  Here are my questions:

1. Has anything like this ever happened to your lab?  If so, how was it handled?  (Peggy Wenk - Please give me feed back too)

2. We are a smallish hospital lab with an extensive outreach.  We do 50,000 blocks per year - 15,000 cytology cases, 15,000 surgical cases.  We have 0 lab assistants, 0 cytology prep-techs (HT, HTL do this), 3 HTs, 1 HTL and 1 HT - Team Leader that manages all aspects of AP.  My question is what is your staffing if you are similar in size and function to us... OR what staffing recommendations would you make.

Mary Bryhan HT (ASCP)
Team Leader - Pathology
Northern Michigan Regional Health Systems
Petoskey, Michigan

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