[Histonet] How to keep cryostating without getting frostbite?

Ingles Claire CIngles <@t> uwhealth.org
Wed Nov 21 13:42:02 CST 2007

I work in a Mohs lab. I have been working in my cryostat for 3 years and haven't had a problem.
We are able to us 'surgical' type gloves. They are thicker and contain your body heat much better. I have sometimes been working in the cryostat with just blue nitriles and definitely notice the difference. We also wear barrier gowns so maybe the extra heat retention helps our hands stay warmer. I also try to touch the metal areas as little as possible. I use forceps (room temp) for tissue manipulation. The thin gloves you are enquiring about actually have no finger tips, so I don't know how much they would help you. It is also important to keep a bottle of lotion around. Specially as winter is setting in. Keeping the hands moisturized helps protect your hands from the cold too. If you use both hands for slide stability during section pick up, you can rest your elbows on the outside frame of the cryostat and not need to touch any of the metal.
Hope this helps,


At 09:16 AM 11/21/2007, Monfils, Paul wrote:
>Just having your hands in the cold air isn't usually the problem.
>Each tech, according to their particular style, usually rests their
>hand on the knife holder in some manner for stability while picking
>up the sections on the slides. The rate of extraction of heat by
>contact with -20 degree metal is much greater than the rate by
>simple exposure to -20 degree air. It is these points of repeated
>contact between skin and metal that usually suffer from
>frostbite.  I have tried various kinds of gloves and slip-on finger
>protectors, but in the final analysis I find that bandaids carefully
>applied to the specific points of contact provide enough insulation
>to prevent skin damage.  I buy the extra wide ones.
> > ----------
> > From:         histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu on behalf
> of jstaruk
> > Sent:         Tuesday, November 20, 2007 7:49 PM
> > To:   histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
> > Subject:      [Histonet] How to keep cryostating without getting frostbite?
> >
> > Hey all,
> >
> > Are there any tricks on how to keep your fingers from getting frostbite
> > while doing cryostat sectioning for 8 hours a day?  My poor techs who have
> > been cutting frozen sections for several straight days now are starting to
> > complain about these inhumane conditions!  Do all of you MOHS techs have
> > bleeding, chapped hands and numb fingertips?
> >
> > Thank you in advance for any suggestions and Happy Thanksgiving to all!
> >
> > Jim
> >
> > _____________________
> >      Jim Staruk
> > Mass Histology Service
> > www.masshistology.com
> >
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