[Histonet] Re: Paraffin Blocks

Bonner, Janet Janet.Bonner <@t> FLHOSP.ORG
Fri Feb 6 07:50:23 CST 2009

We are a very large facility and kept the majority of our blocks and slides in a minimally air-conditioned hospital supplies warehouse.  I used to pull blocks and slides for legal cases, and it was rare-rare-rare that anyone did anything with the blocks after five years.  Ten years for the slides was appropriate.
Janet L. Bonner, HTL (ASCP)
Pathology Laboratory

From: histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu on behalf of Weems, Joyce
Sent: Thu 2/5/2009 6:12 PM
To: Robert Richmond; histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
Subject: RE: [Histonet] Re: Paraffin Blocks

I've been preaching this sermon for several years!!!  We must do
something!!!  j

-----Original Message-----
From: histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
[mailto:histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu] On Behalf Of Robert
Sent: Thursday, February 05, 2009 5:28 PM
To: histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
Subject: [Histonet] Re: Paraffin Blocks

How long to retain paraffin blocks (human tissue) is an issue that's
going to need re-thinking.

Presently most pathology services in the USA retain them for no more
than ten years. If the laboratory closes, slides and blocks are disposed
of immediately.

It seems to me that in the coming age of molecular pathology, there will
be a lot more interest in recovering paraffin blocks after longer
periods of time. I think that the regulatory agencies will soon need to
address this problem.

Storing present-day paraffin blocks, with their bulky plastic mounts and
low-melting waxes, is going to become even more difficult than it is
now, as hospitals and other facilities consider the cost of maintaining
and cooling storage space.

I don't think it's possible to triage blocks and slides for disposal at
the time the case is signed out. It sounds like a good idea, but the few
times I've seen it tried it didn't work. Also, we really don't know what
we're going to need to recover in the future.

Bob Richmond
Samurai Pathologist (nearly 70, isn't going to have to worry about this
problem) Knoxville TN

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