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All samples sent to Paediatric Histopathology must comply with our specimen acceptance requirements.

  • All test requests ordered on the HIVE Electronic Patient Record (EPR) system must have a request form print out submitted with the sample.
  • For non- HIVE requests or paper requests raised during HIVE down time see acceptance criteria below.

The following mandatory information must be provided for us to accept the specimen:

Essential Patient Identifiers:

  • Surname
  • Forename (not required in neonates if unknown)
  • Unique identification number – MRN number, NHS and external hospital number for external cases
  • Date of birth
  • Address
  • Gender

Essential Clinical Details:

  • High risk status – to ensure health and safety of all staff
  • Specimen site – must match on specimen pot and request card
  • Relevant clinical information – to ensure all necessary investigations are performed
  • Date/time taken – essential to ensure proper fixation of high risk specimens

Essential Sender Details:

  • Ward/department – required for return of reports
  • Consultant or GP – required for return of reports and contact in case of any errors/discrepancies
  • Contact number/bleep – for frozen sections

Specimens that do not contain the required information or have discrepancies between the request card and specimen pot will not be processed in the laboratory until the necessary information has been obtained. The sender will be contacted to attend the laboratory to complete any missing information or correct any mistakes. The person correcting the patient or specimen details should be of appropriate seniority and able to take responsibility for the labelling of the specimen. This will result in a delay to specimen processing and reporting.

Consent for histological examination is not documented on the request forms but forms an integral part of the clinical process, for consent for the procedure.

Internal Paediatric Histology and placental requests are ordered on HIVE as ’Paediatric Histology’.

External Paediatric Histology request forms are available on request.

All Placental Histology requests must fulfil specific acceptance criteria and ranges / measurements specified where requested. New referral criteria was applied on 01.02.2023 as follows:

We will only accept the following placentas:

  • Stillbirth (antepartum or intrapartum)
  • Miscarriage (14+0–23+6 completed weeks’ gestation)
  • Severe fetal distress defined as: pH <7.05 or base excess ≥ -12 or scalp lactate> 4.8mmol/l
  • Preterm birth (less than 32+0 weeks’ gestation)
  • Fetal growth restriction defined as: birthweight below 3rd centile or drop in fetal growth velocity of >2 quartiles or >50 percentiles
  • Abnormal umbilical artery Dopplers (absent or reversed end diastolic flow)
  • Fetal hydrops
  • Early-onset (<32 weeks) Severe pre-eclampsia requiring Iatrogenic delivery
  • Severe maternal sepsis requiring adult intensive care admission and/or fetal sepsis requiring ventilation or level 3 NICU admission
  • Massive placental abruption with retroplacental clot.
  • Baby for Post Mortem at RMCH

If the referral does not meet the criteria this will be discussed with the referring team and returned.

It is essential that gestation is specified and clinical details provided – without this we will be unable to accept the placenta.


(Last reviewed May 2023)