Formaldehyde & Specimen Collection

17 Jan Formaldehyde & Specimen Collection

We all know the importance of specimen collection, labelling, marking, appropriate size collection container and placing the right amount of 10% NBF (Non Buffered Formaldehyde or Formalin) into the specimen container. Formaldehyde is used as a tissue preservative. A specimen if directed by a surgeon should be placed in formalin as soon as possible, in order to accurately assess tissue morphology by decreasing ischaemic time. Depending upon the size of the specimen, nurses are expected to add formalin at a specific ratio and within a vacuum sealed cabinet whilst donning PPE, including a respiratory protective mask. Decanting formalin, should be 10:1, 10 parts formalin to weight of the tissue.

Having worked at a number of hospitals and medical centres, it was brought to my attention that not all facilities have fuming cabinets when dispersing formalin into specimen containers?

“A recent major study of the work-related burden of cancer in Great Britain included consideration of leukaemia, nasopharyngeal cancer and sino-nasal cancer in relation to formaldehyde exposure. Estimates suggest about 230 000 Australian workers, or 2.3% of the workforce, are probably exposed to formaldehyde when undertaking relatively common activities at work.”

What are your facilities policies on this?

At one private facility you have to label the container with 10% Formalin, is this common practice?

Specimen jar large!divAbstract


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