Why Everything is Important – Kerrisa L.

When beginning to read chapter 9 of Rigor Morris I immediately come to the realization of how much help and fixing the Biomedical Field needs. Richard Harris quotes Carolyn Compton, who is a Pathologist, to explain how unstructured some of the processes in the field are. Carolyn Compton said “A big colon gets put into a bag. It sits in the operating room until a circulating nurse gets around to putting it in the holding refrigerator in the operating room. At the end of the day the same guy who the delivers mail at Mass General comes around and puts it in a cart. He takes it two buildings over, to the pathology department. There it goes onto another bench to get logged in by a technician and it goes into a refrigerator. If it’s a three day weekend, the resident on call doesn’t come in until Tuesday, opens up the colon and takes a piece of the cancer and puts in into formalin.” (Pg. 197) I mean if you think about it in my opinion the colon has spent at least a few hours out in a room, at room temperature, which definitely can’t be good for it, especially if you’re going to run tests on it. To be able to get a correct test response the colon needs to be in a completely controlled environment, or you could get a completely wrong diagnosis.

Mr. Harris even goes on to say that in Precision medicine every single thing needs to be controlled, because even the anesthesia given to the patient can affect the outcome. Cancer is a deadly disease, and although there are hundreds of survival cases we still do not have a cure. And I think that the lack of rigor in cancer cell testing could possibly be a big part of the reason that a cure doesn’t already exist.

Later on in the chapter Carolyn Compton explains the difference between clinical pathologist and anatomical pathologist. A clinical pathologist follows lots of federal standards,Carolyn Compton even said “In laboratory medicine, accuracy of measurement and reproducibility of measurement is everything. Everything,” (Pg.200) I completely agree with this, and I believe that this is how every single lab should be run. Because even the smallest error can be the cause of misdiagnosis. Which can ultimately lead to the reason that someone wasn’t able to get treatment.

Reading chapter 9, helped me come to the realization that everything is important in the Biomedical field, no matter what you are doing, because it all comes down to the lives that are being saved.

Biomedical Field


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