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What avenues are available to me to have digital microscopy images analyzed?

Dilworth bactitech at hortonsbay.com
Thu Jun 21 04:47:40 EST 2001

Sorry your specimen was rejected.  Some laboratories require that an O&P
specimen be submitted in a special kit.  Your doc should know that if he
sends people to the same lab all of the time (doctor's offices are
woefully uninformed and/or forgetful about stuff like this, believe
me).  The reason for this is that the parasite is then in preservative -
especially if the specimen is referred out by the lab.  Many smaller
labs don't do O&P's and send them to big reference labs.  That's why
there is a need for the preservative. Did they give you the proper
container for recollection?

Our lab serves mainly local clients, so if the fecal specimen is given
in a clean container of any sort, we'll accept it.  What did you use,
BTW, that was rejected? I've taken stool specimens in baby food jars,
butter tubs, you name it!  (The worst one EVER was one of those huge
industrial size mayonnaise jars!  Guess who had to reach in to sample
the specimen?????  PLEASE don't use one of those :-)).

Some labs use a two vial kit: one with formalin and one with PVA. 
Others use a one-vial method with zinc-PVA.  It just depends on what
concentration method the lab uses.  You don't need to stuff these chock
full of specimen.  If formed, a specimen the size of a small walnut is
more than enough.  If liquid or unformed, you'll have to imagine an
equivalent.  Mark the outside of the preservative container with the
patient's name, date, and check off the consistency (there's usually a
label with formed/liquid or something similar on there, depending on
which commercial kit you use).  We use formed/semi-formed/liquid on our
reports.  You don't HAVE to put all that on but it's nice if you do. 
The patient's name HAS to be on the container, though.  It cannot be
mixed with urine.  Use foil or plastic wrap over the toilet seat to
collect.  I know it's gross, but you must do it. :-(.

Sorry your lab wasn't flexible.  If the patient calls ahead, and talks
to us, we're more than willing to tell the patient what's needed for
collection of ANY specimen. We'd rather have it sent right the first
time than have to call the doc/patient/whoever and have the specimen
recollected.  It's more work for us that way - really!  Most labs have
client service people that will answer questions like that; if they
don't know, they always call back to micro and ask us.

Did they order just one specimen or three?  If three, they should be 1-2
days apart; don't collect all on the same day or the second and third
will be rejected, as insurance companies only pay for one per day. 
Sorry, those are the rules.

I can appreciate your frustration.  My mother is elderly and, even
though I know my way around the system to some extent, I still run into
very frustrating situations regarding her health care.

Hang in there.

Judy Dilworth, M.T. (ASCP)

Wilf Russell wrote:
> Just for the record, I took your advice and convinced a doctor (N.D.)
> to arrange the O&P lab test for us... however, when I took in the
> specimen it wasn't in the container they wanted and so they wouldn't
> accept it.  Some flexibility would sure be nice in the industry as
> well......

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