How to freeze a specimen:
- Freeze at -21 degrees Celsius. This takes 5 minutes!
- Add some good old OCT compound
- Spray with liquid nitrogen
The slides then must be soaked in 10% formaline.
How to stain slides:
- Put in water
- Hematoxilin - blue dye
- Eosin - pink dye
- Different types of alcohol
The result: They’re beautiful!
Sadly I don’t have pictures of what these looked like under the microscope, my phone can’t take those kind of pictures and we didn’t have a computer screen either. Oh well! But here’s some fun facts about the placenta and uterus.
- The fetal membrane is on the inside of the placenta.
- Meconium is a bile that makes the inside of the placenta green. It’s released from the anus of the fetus when it gets stressed. So it’s basically poop.
- The placenta has things called villi. Between the villi are capillaries, where the exchange of oxygen occurs.
- Blood is exchanged in the umbilical cord.
- Estrogen is a female hormone.
- Progesterone is also a female hormone.
- The endometrium thickens with the help of estrogen and progesterone.
- The stroma supports the endometrium glands.
- The uterus has a lot of smooth muscles with long spindles and intersecting fascicles.
The doctors also get serum from the blood. Serum is plasma without the clotting factors, and used for diagnostic purposes.
How does one split up the blood like this? There’s this cool spinning thing called a centrifuge! It separates the components of blood. It takes 5-8 minutes, and has to be done multiple times.
The lab technologist there was able help me determine my blood type!
How to determine blood type (manual):
- First you need tubes containing the following solutions.
- Mono Control
- A1 Cells
- B Cells
- Mix the RBC with saline, and add 2 drops into solutions a-e.
- Add 2 drops of serum to solutions f-g.
- Spin these tubes in the centrifuge to separate! It takes 20 seconds.
- For solutions a-e, when you get the tubes out of the centrifuge, the RBC has been separated from the solution it’s in. Swirl the tubes one by one. If the blood dissolves into the solution, your blood type isn’t that thing. These were the results from my test:
- The Mono Control will always dissolve, so it’s always 0.
- Anti-A dissolved. I’m not Type A.
- Anti-B dissolved. I’m not Type B.
- Anti-D did not dissolve. I must be Type O.
- For solutions f-g, do the same thing as in Step 5, but since we’re looking at serum instead of RBC, the results should be reversed.
- A1 did not dissolve. I’m not Type A.
- B did not dissolve. I’m not Type B.
Result: I’m Type O+!
Urinalysis is basically analyzing urine. All you do is put a urine sample into a machine, and it analyzes stuff for you. What sort of stuff? Well, a bunch of strips in the machine detect things in it such as glucose levels. A microscope also takes pictures of the stuff floating in the urine. Epithelial cells are skin cells that cloud over the urine, they’re contaminants, and fun fact, women have more of these in their urine than men.
CBC stands for complete blood count, and it’s a process that inspects WBC’s, RBC’s, and platelets. There’s a really cool machine in the hematology place that will automatically run a CBC for you. I should probably define these terms so you know the significance of CBC’s.
WBC stands for white blood cells. There’s two types: lymphocytes and neutrophils. Lymphocytes determine if somebody has a virus and neutrophils determine if somebody has an infection. Both of these WBC types are counted in a sample, and the number counted is compared to a standard to determine whether or not they have an infection. WBC’s appear purple on microscope slides.
RBC stands for red blood cells. These are examined for hemoglobin levels, which can determine if somebody is bleeding to death. The normal hemoglobin level for women is 13 and for men it’s 15. You can’t give blood to somebody whose hemoglobin level is lower than 8. These appear pink on microscope slides.
I’m not sure how to define platelets, so I’ll just give an example. If you got a cut, platelets would come stop your bleeding, and eventually form a scab. If you have too little platelets in your blood, you can’t stop bleeding. If you have too many, you’ll get blood clots and strokes. You need to determine if blood thinners are necessary.
QC is quality control, and it runs every 8 hours to check if the CBC machine is working. If the machine is not working, a piece of paper will print out to let you know what’s wrong.
Apparently in the Med Tech lab, labels are extremely important. You have to label the correct blood sample and match it to the correct patient!!
- pregnancy (hCG)
- Fetal fibronectin (fFN)
- They’ll test for when the mother will deliver and how far into the pregnancy she is
- This detects diabetes
- You drop serum onto these tablets and see the color change to detect diabetes
- Lactic acid
- This determines bacterial infection in the blood
- Also tells you if you need antibiotics.
- It can also tell you if you have an electrolyte imbalance.
Typically, a blood sample put into the machine will determine things like
- BMP (Basic Metabolic Panel)
- CMP (Comprehensive Metabolic Panel)
- Lipid (Cholesterol)
- Determines if the patient has a heart attack