Histopathology / Cytology

INTRAOPERATIVE CONSULTATION (FROZEN SECTION) SERVICE:

Frozen section involves microscopic examination of fresh unfixed tissue following rapid freezing.

As this process uses patient tissue and microscopic slide quality is inferior to tissue processed in standard fashion, it should be reserved ONLY FOR CASES IN WHICH THE RESULT WILL ALTER INTRAOPERATIVE MANAGEMENT.

Submitting tissue for frozen section:

A frozen section service is offered during normal working hours. Frozen sections if possible should be booked in advance by calling the Histopathology department (extension 2033).

Frozen sections outside of usual working hours may be provided by prior arrangement with the Consultant Histopathologist.

Reports are phoned to contact number provided within a target of 20 minutes from receipt in laboratory. Turnaround time may be longer in the case of multiple, simultaneously submitted frozen sections.

Frozen sections can be sent without an electronic order. The electronic order should be raised when surgery is complete in the usual manner (see, how to raise an order). The number of pots listed on electronic order should include pots already sent for frozen section.

A green 'Frozen Section' sticker should be placed on all frozen section request forms

CONTACT DETAILS AND CLINICAL DETAILS MUST BE INCLUDED ON ALL REQUEST FORMS. POT MUST BE LABELLED WITH SITE.

Transport:
Please ensure that staff transporting specimen to Histopathology Department are aware of urgent nature of specimen.

Reporting of frozen section:
IN ORDER TO AVOID POTENTIAL SERIOUS COMMUNICATION ERRORS THE FOLLOWING PROCEDURE SHOULD BE FOLLOWED IN DELIVERING AND RECEIVING FROZEN SECTION REPORTS

Delivering frozen section verbal report:
1. Confirm patient’s name
2. Confirm site of biopsy
3. Record name of contact person in Operating Theatre
4. Ask contact to repeat the frozen section report.

Frozen section in patients with high risk infection:

 Frozen sections are generally not carried out in cases of high risk infection, TB, HCV, HIV, and HBV. However, a decision to proceed with frozen section in these cases may be made following discussion with the consultant histopathologist reviewing the material. If such a suspicion is present, the medical staff concerned must inform laboratory personnel in order to safeguard the laboratory staff from risk of infection.
In addition, if the laboratory inadvertently processes such specimens, a decontamination procedure of the equipment required for frozen sections must be carried out. Decontamination of this equipment takes 24 hours. During this time no further frozen sections can be performed.