viewing under the microscope. When the surgeon requests a frozen section which is
usually indicated on the OR schedule, the specialist must be sure that the pathologists
has been notified in advance, since the patient is on the OR table under anesthesia
while the surgeon waits to hear if the tissue is malignant or benign. There cannot be
undue delay! This specimen is placed in a moist towel or a Petri dish, never a sponge,
by the scrub and handed to the circulator. He will give it to the designated person,
probably someone from the laboratory. It is recorded immediately in the specimen log
and signed for upon delivery. It must be delivered immediately to the pathologist. His
results will be reported directly to the medical officer or nurse.
(b) Specimens of tissue to be examined for tuberculosis organisms are
to be placed in saline solution. In addition, other specimens may be taken to the
laboratory in saline solution when the surgeon wants the specimen examined
(c) When the specimen is a pap (Papanicolaou) smear (done in certain
operative procedures to determine the presence of cancerous cells without having to
excise tissue), glass slides with secretion from the suspected area are placed in solution
of equal parts of ether and dehydrated alcohol (absolute alcohol).
(d) Specimens to be photographed are to be placed in saline solution
or covered with a towel moistened with saline because formaldehyde solution discolors
(e) Some specimens are handled using sterile technique to avoid the
possibility of introducing new bacteria. The pathologist's report and in turn the medical
officer's diagnosis may be affected if sterile technique was not observed by all
personnel when handling the specimen and foreign bacteria were allowed to
contaminate it. Cultures are examples of specimens handled using sterile technique. A
sterile member of the OR team uses two cotton tip applicators to swab the pus or fluid.
When the material has been swabbed for culture, it is passed off to the circulator and
should be placed in a culture tube and delivered to the laboratory as soon after being
taken as possible.
b. Disposition of Foreign Bodies. Foreign bodies removed from a patient
should be cared for according to local hospital policy. Such items may have legal
significance outside the hospital; for example, police may desire a bullet that has been
removed. The giving over of a foreign body to other than the appropriate hospital
personnel is done only by the responsible medical officer.
3-17. STERILITY OF MATERIALS
To protect the patient from infection that could prove fatal, measures must be
taken to assure the sterility of the materials used. Numerous measures are