[Histonet] Cost Containment - Blades question

Pamela Marcum pmarcum <@t> polysciences.com
Mon Dec 22 15:36:25 CST 2003

Great  Answer!!   I have used steel blades and for some things in research
they are very good however, each point you made in your summary is a
consideration to be evaluated.  I think we should all whether industry or
clinical, supplier or end user take your last paragraph and remember the
patient is our priority for everything.  When I think I am losing sight of
that fact I think of my daughter having surgery or other family member or
friend and what I would want for them.  That puts it in perspective 'cause
when its personal only the best is good enough.

Best Regards,

Pamela A Marcum
Product Development Manager
Polysciences, Inc.
400 Valley Road
Warrington, PA 18976
Telephone: 800-523-2575     Ext. 167
                     215-343-6484     Ext. 167

Fax:             800-343-3291

> -----Original Message-----
> From: histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
> [mailto:histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu]On Behalf Of Stapf,
> Ross
> Sent: Monday, December 22, 2003 4:32 PM
> To: Louri Caldwell; histonet <@t> pathology.swmed.edu
> Subject: RE: [Histonet] Cost Containment - Blades question
> Louri:
> My answers are below.
> "Have any of you used steel blades for paraffin sectioning instead of
> disposable blades?"
> I have never used the steel blades.  Sharpening them is an art and takes
> time and if you don't have someone on staff who knows how to sharpen
> blades properly then no one will be getting good sections.
> "Is this practical - meaning how many blocks is one blade able to
> section before being sharpened, and what is the minimum cost involved in
> the sharpening process?"
> I don't believe it is practical.  How many blocks you can cut depends on
> the type of tissue.  One calcified area or staple will immediately make
> that area of the blade useless.  As for cost.  Blade sharpeners are not
> cheap, plus there is the time involved for the person doing the
> sharpening.
> "Is there any way to sharpen disposable blades?"
> Not that I know of.
> What is the average amount of blocks a technician is able to cut/blade -
> both using disposable and steel?
> Once again it depends on the tissue and the expected level of quality in
> the lab.  As far as I am concerned slides should always be as close to
> perfect as possible.  I have seen some "factory labs" who will dole out
> how many blades each tech gets for the day.  Their slides look terrible
> and any Pathologist with a choice eventually look elsewhere for quality
> work.  In my opinion quality needs to be the first priority.  These are
> patients whose lives depend on an accurate diagnosis.  They deserve no
> less than the best section possible.
> "What is your disposable blade of choice?"
> Accu Edge.  Although I had some sample Shandon Blades recently that were
> good and I intend to give them some consideration as they are much
> cheaper than Accu Edge.
> Bottom Line.  Unless you have a bunch of good old steel blades, a good
> sharpener, and a group of techs who are able to sharpen them properly
> then I would stick with disposables.  It is much better to look at
> cheaper disposable blades to save money than to try to dictate how many
> blades each person can use.  Any switch to a cheaper blade should
> involve the techs input.  Many times blades are cheaper for a reason and
> they don't cut as well.
> Good luck.  I know situations like this can be tough.
> Ross M Stapf
> Histopathology Manager
> Baylor University Medical Center
> 3500 Gaston Ave.
> Dallas, TX 75246
> 214-820-2465
> 214-820-4110 fax
> RossS <@t> baylorhealth.edu
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