A bucket of meat

in STEMGeeks9 months ago

         Sometimes, the crew has to unconventional methods to get things done. Unless there is a good reason to reject a specimen, we try our best to make the culture work.

         An amputation specimen arrived in the latter half of the graveyard shift. The microbiology order specified to culture the bone from the sample. That wasn't very specific. There was one other problem: it was an entire section of a leg. To be more specific, right below the knee. It was like a cut of pig hock from the market. The disposable scalpels and tissue grinders were not going to work. Not when the specimen was this large.

         One of my colleagues approached me and asked for advice. I suggested that we ask the Histology Department for tools. Maybe they could even process the specimen for us. I offered to accompany him on the task.

         When we were there, we explained the situation to their night crew. They offered tools to help our ventures. They declined to process the specimen because their workflow is non-sterile. It made sense because they put processed samples n formalin, which would destroy microbes we want to recover.

In the picture: a hammer (in the back), a chisel, a scalpel handle, and disposal scalpels and blades.

         Once we have acquired the tools, the next step is sterilization. That required the use of the autoclave. Lucky for us, my department does operate one. We often sterilize instruments for other departments as well. Unfortunately for my crew, the autoclave wouldn't finish until after our shift. The least we could do was pass on the information.

         The next day, I inquired about what happened to the specimen. I found out that our technical supervisor processed it, so it was in good hands. A part of me was a bit bummed that I didn't get the chance to use the hammer and chisel on a specimen. It would have been a unique experience.

Posted with STEMGeeks


They would wait for a resident pathologist to process it for them if that happened here. Our lab techs shy away from the challenge. That has never happened to me yet or to my knowledge that that kind or order would be done.

That smiley on the note was nice.

 9 months ago 

Usually, the origin facility would do that. Not sure why we got the initial cut that night.

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 9 months ago Reveal Comment

Sometimes, the crew has to unconventional methods to get things done.

At times, it's good to be able to improvise in the absence of the major items needed. @enforcer48

If I am correct, to culture something could mean growing it in a lab, right? Its been quite a long time since I left biology and its related entities.😄

 9 months ago 


That is crazy! Never a dull moment at your job huh? I can't even imagine what that would be like. I probably would have throw up. I am kind of a wuss.

 9 months ago 

One trick is to not overthink it.

Damned.... I don't envy you on this one... ;)

 9 months ago 

At least it's fresh.

Barbecue time? :D

 9 months ago 

Might draw unwanted attention.


 9 months ago 

Fresh. Fresh. FRESH!

This is so disgusting!!
.. Continue your work, please!


 9 months ago 

We get an odd thing every now and then.

I honestly don't know whether to upv0te you ~ or just keep a million miles away from you !LOL

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 9 months ago 

It could be worse.

This is really quite interesting lol

 9 months ago 

It’s an adventure and a half.

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 9 months ago Reveal Comment