Vacuum packing for 100k specimens now available at Heartlands

Vacuum packing has gone live at Heartlands Hospital, part of University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB), the lead organisation for the West Midlands Genomic Medicine Centre (WMGMC).
 
The TissueSAFE vacuum packing solution is available from Menarini Diagnostics, who have also provided training and support for UHB staff.
 
There are several benefits to vacuum packing, including the fact that samples are preserved better due to the airtight bags. This also means the samples can be easily transported from operating theatres to pathology, and a greater number of samples are likely to pass quality control.
 
The process of vacuum packing also removes the need to use formalin to preserve samples, therefore reducing the risk of formalin spillages. Several hospitals in Wales have gone entirely ‘formalin free’ and there is a long-term aim to rollout vacuum sealing across all Trusts nationally.
 
Vacuum packing will continue as genomic testing moves into routine NHS care, when the pioneering 100,000 Genomes Project morphs into a national Genomic Medicine Service.
 
Vacuum packing could potentially be used for all sample collection in the future, providing benefits to all patients.
 
Dominic Hassett, Clinical Educator for Theatres at Heartlands, said: “We are very pleased to introduce vacuum packing for our 100,000 genome project specimens and look forward to the possibility of reducing the use of formalin in theatres even further in the future…" Read the full article here