The cytology laboratory working hours are 9am to 5:30 pm, Monday to Thursday and 9am to 5pm on Friday (excluding bank holidays). A limited out of hours service is provided by the Histology Department at the weekend to deal with urgent CSF and PCP bronchial lavage specimens.
These include urine, serous fluids, sputum, cyst aspirates, washings and CSF’s. A sample of 20ml maximum size is adequate for cytology in almost all cases. Larger volumes should not be sent to the laboratory without prior approval from the laboratory. It is appreciated that some samples, such as CSF’s, are often of low volume and smaller samples are acceptable in such circumstances.
Fluid specimens should be sent to the laboratory without delay in a suitable specimen container. The container should be labelled with the patient’s first and last name and NHS number or hospital number or date of birth. The label should also include the type of specimen and site of sample, if appropriate. The specimen and the request form should be sent to the laboratory in a plastic specimen bag.
*Brushings and FNA Specimens*
FNA specimens and brushings should be spread on frosted end slides. The slides should be labelled in pencil (ink is washed off in processing) to include the patients name and date of birth. If samples are taken from multiple sites, it will be necessary to number the slides to indicate the sources. The slides may be air dried for low viscosity specimens or wet fixed if the material is mucoid. Ideally, if sufficient material is available, slides prepared by both methods should be sent. Slides must be placed in slide transport boxes and placed in a specimen bag with the request form for delivery to the laboratory.
Excess material can be expressed into physiological saline or tissue culture fluid and sent to the laboratory as for fluid specimens.
St Thomas' Hospital
North Wing - 2nd Floor
Westminster Bridge Road
London SE1 7EH
Head and Neck/Oral Pathology Laboratory
4th Floor, Tower Wing
Great Maze Pond
London SE1 9RT
Last updated: 07/08/2015