Specimen Collection Guidelines

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Post- Mortem Specimens

Post- Mortem Skin Biopsy


Materials

Supplies
  • Instruments: Punch biopsy tool or scissors and forceps
Reagents
  • Screw-cap vial containing sterile saline.

Procedure

Step Action
1.
  • Take out a vial containing the sterile saline. Lay out the instruments
2.

Using a punch-biopsy tool

  • Place the open, sharp end on the skin and swivel into the skin, pressing firmly.
  • Remove the tool from the skin and lift the biopsy specimen out with forceps.
  • Cut free with scalpel or scissors.

Using a scissors to take the biopsy

  • Lift the skin to be sampled with forceps.
  • Cut a small piece of skin from the area.
  • Use the forceps to remove the skin specimen.
3.
  • Place the specimen in a vial containing the sterile saline, and close the screw cap tightly
4.
  • Label the specimen vial
5.
  • Discard all instruments safely – do not re-use.

In the diagnosis of rabies, samples from the nape of the neck at the hairline are preferred as concentrations of virus are likely to be high.