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Bone Marrow Delivery

In some institutions, the laboratory technologist does not assist the clinician at the bedside with the bone marrow aspiration procedure. Instead the clinician delivers the bone marrow sample to the laboratory, similarly to other laboratory specimens. When this is the case, the bone marrow sample may be delivered in one of two manners with the laboratory's responsibilities dependent on which method is used.

  1. A clinician may deliver to the laboratory a specified number of smears, made at bedside, along with the bone marrow sample. Samples may also be designated for flow cytometry, cytogenetics, or molecular diagnostics.
  2. A clinician may deliver a standard package of bone marrow aspirate to the laboratory in various evacuted blood collection tubes. In this situation the laboratory will usually have a standard order set that directs the distribution of the marrow samples based on diagnosis. The hematology laboratory will use these samples to prepare the bone marrow smears, while the other tubes would be distributed for flow cytometry, cytogenetics, molecular diagnostics, etc. based on the direction of the hematopathologist.