A-level Applied Science/The Role of the Pathology Service/Examples

A-level Applied Science/The Role of the Pathology Service/Examples

The Swansea NHS Belief serves 250,000 individuals and manages 1800 hospital beds. It’s a instructing hospital belief with all main specialities together with burns, renal, cardiac surgical procedure and neurosurgery. There are two principal hospitals, Singleton (600 beds) and Morriston (850), and seven smaller hospitals. Morriston is on the northern outskirts of the town. Singleton is west of the town centre.[1]

There are two principal laboratories within the Swansea NHS Belief, one at Morriston and the opposite at Singleton. The Pathology Departments have concentrated most assets on one or different websites in an effort to maximise use of amenities. A complete service is achieved regardless of this specialisation, by way of environment friendly IT and transport programs.[2] The division has an annual price range of roughly £8.5 million.[3]

The division is Scientific Pathology Accreditation (UK) Ltd (CPA) accredited. CPA is the important thing accreditation physique for NHS pathology laboratories. Laboratories are required to use CPA requirements in all elements of their every day operations.

CPA requirements apply to the laboratory’s organisation, staffing, assets, evaluation and examination strategies and
high quality assurance.[4]


Pathology providers in Swansea are offered by the Directorate of Pathology. The Directorate is made up of Departments of:

  • Mobile Pathology (9 consultants[2][3])
  • Chemical Pathology (2)
  • Haematology (4-6)
  • Medical Microbiology/Virology (1-3)

All pathologists are concerned within the interpretation of laboratory take a look at outcomes and giving recommendation in regards to the acceptable investigation of sufferers.[2]


The division performs over 2.6 million investigations yearly.[3]

Yearly, 1.7 million take a look at requests are obtained, protecting an enormous spectrum of study together with extremely automated chemical pathology assessments, the tradition of an unlimited vary of micro-organisms, extremely detailed blood and bone marrow evaluation and the supply of screening programmes for breast and cervical most cancers.[2]


There are 19 advisor medical employees in Pathology along with 5 medical scientists and roughly 150 technical and clerical employees. Collectively they supply each a medical and an analytical service.[2][3]

The Directorate of Pathology is concerned in a number of elements of undergraduate medical instructing.[2]

Info Administration[edit]

Each medical and technical employees work collectively to supply the analytical service. There’s a very robust emphasis on high quality management and environment friendly well timed procedures all through. Managing such an enormous quantity of knowledge is very depending on an efficient laboratory laptop system. Scientific scientists play an necessary position in monitoring high quality management measures and endeavor analysis and improvement in addition to main groups in particular technical areas (i.e. molecular biology).[2]

Most NHS medical laboratories hold their documentation as paper information, however this causes issues when employees must entry documentation and issues sustaining doc management. The Chemical Pathology and IT departments at Swansea NHS Belief have developed an intranet as an efficient but cheap methodology of entry and storage for all its procedural documentation and report conserving.[4]

Varieties of pattern[edit]

Most samples obtained in chemical pathology and haematology are blood samples collected by phlebotomy, utilizing the evacuated blood assortment (VacutainerTM)system

Order of Draw of Evacuated Tubes.[3]

  1. Blood tradition bottles, sterile tubes
  2. Tubes with out components (pink stoppers)
  3. Tubes containing Gel
  4. Tubes for coagulation research (mild blue – include citrate)
  5. Tubes with components:-
  • Pink/lavender stoppers (EDTA)
  • Black stoppers (citrate – for ESR haematology)
  • Gray stoppers (fluoride and oxalate – for glucose willpower)

Serum or plasma zinc degree will present deceptive elevation as a result of presence of zinc within the stopper. Particular tubes for hint ingredient research (darkish blue stopper – sodium salt of heparin) can be found from the Chemical Pathology Division.[3]

Well being and security[edit]


Most samples obtained are blood samples collected with the evacuated blood assortment system. Pointers for safely amassing blood on this method embrace:

  • Put on gloves throughout venepuncture and when dealing with blood assortment tubes to minimise publicity to hazards.
  • Don’t take away needle protect.
  • After use, DO NOT resheath needle however get rid of each the needle and holder into an acceptable sharps disposal container

Normal notes about excessive danger samples[edit]

Underneath the Well being and Security at Work Act (HSWA) and the COSHH Laws, anybody taking and/or sending doubtlessly hazardous materials for laboratory examination has an obligation to conduct the work safely.

Part Three of the HSWA requires employees to go on data of identified or suspected hazards to those that must deal with the fabric.

Laboratories should be knowledgeable of any potential danger of an infection (e.g. circumstances of identified or suspected communicable illnesses equivalent to T.B., hepatitis B and C, HIV, CJD). Each the request and the specimen should be labelled “DANGER OF INFECTION” with a particular yellow label.

Specimen containers and request varieties should be transported to the laboratory within the specially-designed “double pocket” sealable pathology specimen plastic transport bag. The request kind must be positioned within the separate pocket.

The medical officer taking the pattern should be certain that a senior member of the division is knowledgeable that the pattern is to be despatched. Solely probably the most acceptable assessments will likely be carried out on hazardous samples. Prior session with the advisor pathologist involved is suggested.

Mobile Pathology[edit]

Mobile pathologists work carefully with medical groups, notably in most cancers care, offering key diagnostic and prognostic data and recommendation.[2]

Annual Workload[edit]

Surgical Pathology (Histology): 24-25,000 together with 250 frozen sections[3][5]

Cytopathology: 25,000 gynaecological smears and 4,000 surgical cytology together with 300 FNAs (fine needle aspiration biopsies).[3][5]

Autopsies: Roughly 1000 in whole. 300 at Neath, 550 autopsies requested by HM Coroners, 55 autopsies carried out on the request of clinicians with kin’ consent (“permission circumstances”).[2][3][5]

Varieties of pattern[edit]

1. Histology specimens (25,000 p.a.), together with intraoperative frozen sections, endoscopic biopsies and samples from GP’s.

Gross specimens and biopsies are often obtained in 10% buffered formalin , which should be about 20 occasions the amount of the tissue.

The bottles and buckets used to move the specimens will need to have effectively becoming lids to forestall leakage, and be correctly labelled.

Frozen Sections: The specimen should be despatched dry.

Lymph Node Biopsy: Molecular diagnostic strategies are more and more necessary within the analysis of lymphoma. These strategies are facilitated by the supply of snap frozen, contemporary, unfixed biopsy materials. Due to this fact these specimens must be despatched as shortly as doable to the laboratory unfixed, in a dry container.

Renal Biopsy: Needs to be despatched instantly to the laboratory.

Wales Most cancers Financial institution: Tissues are obtained contemporary from theatre.

2. Cytology service (30,000 specimens p.a.) together with high quality needle aspiration cytology and cervical screening.

Cytology: Most fluids, urines, pleural fluids, and so forth. must be collected in white capped common bottles and despatched to the laboratory immediately. Typically, 4 common bottles are thought-about to be a consultant pattern.

Sputum Examination: Early morning deep cough specimens despatched on the day of manufacturing and picked up into plain common bottles.

High-quality Needle Aspiration Cytology: Specimens must be despatched to the division through the portering service as quickly as doable. A member of Cytology employees might help within the assortment.

Cervical Cytology: Liquid Primarily based Cytology. (LBC)

Well being and security[edit]


The bottles and buckets used to move the specimens will need to have well-fitting lids to forestall leakage, and be correctly labelled. Containers of assorted sizes can be found.

Formalin is a reasonably flammable liquid when uncovered to warmth or bare flame. It’s a identified carcinogen, a robust eye, pores and skin and mucous membrane irritant and a pores and skin sensitiser and could also be deadly if swallowed. Spillage absorption granules must be current in any division utilizing formalin along with directions for his or her right use.

Chemical Pathology[edit]

Chemical pathologists run diabetic and lipid clinics.[2]

The Chemical Pathology division was fashioned from the merger of three native laboratories in 1995. There may be now one principal laboratory (Morriston) open 24/7 and two “satellite tv for pc” laboratories. Within the satellite tv for pc laboratories, there is no such thing as a on website analyst between midnight and 8am.[1]

Varieties of pattern[edit]

Largely blood samples, additionally urine, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), faeces


Haematologists have an in depth medical follow managing sufferers with a variety of blood associated issues.[2]

Varieties of pattern[edit]

Blood samples for full blood depend (FBC) and erythrocyte sedimentation price (ESR) assessments.

Bone marrow aspirate and trephine samples.

Donor blood for cross-matching.


Microbiologists additionally advise on the administration of infectious illness and monitor hospital acquired infections and group outbreaks.[2] The Microbiology Division is a part of the Public Well being Laboratory Service which additionally offers with environmental (meals, water and so forth.) microbiology and incorporates two nationwide reference laboratories, for Toxoplasmosis and Cryptosporidium.[2]

Varieties of pattern[edit]


  • Swabs
  • Faeces
  • Sputum
  • Pus
  • Urine
  • Blood, clotted blood, serum
  • Biopsy materials, washings, aspirates, fluids (cerebrospinal, seminal, and so forth.), smears
  • Intrauterine contraceptive units (IUCDs)
  • Vomit
  • Meals suspected of contamination
  • Sellotape samples of threadworm eggs
  • Pores and skin, nail, hair

Well being and security[edit]


Viral Hepatitis[edit]

7ml clotted blood must be collected and labelled with a “DANGER OF INFECTION” sticker.
Use warning labels for blood from sufferers with acute hepatitis, irregular liver operate assessments, jaundice, continual carriers, intravenous drug abuse and shut contacts of circumstances.


If HIV take a look at is required contact the Guide Microbiologist. Nonetheless, if the pattern is collected by a GP, 7ml clotted blood must be despatched , labelled “DANGER OF INFECTION”.

Notifiable Illnesses[edit]

The next illnesses should be notified, as quickly as identified, to the Guide in Communicable Illness Management.

Acute Encephalitis Acute Meningitis Acute Poliomyelitis Anthrax
Cholera Diphtheria Dysentery (Amoebic or Bacillary) Meals Poisoning (all sources)
Infectious Jaundice Lassa Fever Legionnaire’s Illness Leprosy
Leptospirosis Malaria Marburg Illness Measles
Meningococcal septicaemia Paratyphoid Fever Plague Rabies
Relapsing Fever Rubella Scarlet Fever Smallpox
Tetanus Tuberculosis Typhoid Fever Typhus
Viral Haemorrhagic Fever Viral Hepatitis Whooping Cough Yellow Fever
  1. ab G Bishell GEM 3000 – The Swansea Story (An account of the introduction of a brand new blood gasoline analyser system)
  2. abcdefghijokaylm Description of Swansea Pathology Service for Medical college students.
  3. abcdefghijokaylmnop Swansea Pathology Service Handbook (third version, April 2005)
  4. ab D Stockwell, G Rooke, C Dancer, D Burnett (2004) An intranet based mostly medical laboratory high quality handbook and organisational data system. Healthcare Computing.
  5. abc Description of Swansea Pathology Service with annual workloads.

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