84-10 Tissue disposition

All tissue and foreign bodies removed during a surgical procedure shall be sent to the pathology laboratory for examination except for the following categories. These exceptions may be invoked by the attending surgeon only when the quality of care is not compromised by the exception, when another suitable means of verification of the removal is routinely employed, and when there is an authenticated operative or other official report that documents the removal. The categories of specimens that may be exempted from pathological examination are the following:

(A)  Specimens that by their nature or condition do not permit fruitful examination, such as cataract, orthopedic appliance, foreign body, or portion of rib removed only to enhance operative exposure;

(B)  Therapeutic radioactive sources, the removal of which shall be guided by radiation safety monitoring requirements;

(C)  Traumatically injured members that have been amputated and for which examination for either medical or legal reasons is not deemed necessary;

(D)  Foreign bodies (for example, bullets) that for legal reasons are given directly in the chain of custody to law enforcement representatives;

(E)  Specimens known to rarely, if ever, show pathological change, and removal of which is highly visible postoperatively, such as the foreskin from the circumcision of a newborn infant;

(F)  Placentas that are grossly normal and have been removed in the course of operative and non-operative obstetrics; and

(G)  Teeth, provided the number, including fragments, is recorded in the medical record.

(Board approval dates: 9/6/2002, 4/6/2016)