[Histonet] Cooling paraffin blocks with ice VS. Freezing Spray

Contact HistoCare contact <@t> histocare.com
Fri Sep 28 23:30:10 CDT 2012

Hi, I have a feeling that the supervisor's motivation for discouraging your personal technique is financial and not procedural. I can't image in a high volume setting where that technique would work, especially when there are various kinds of tissue. Your supervisor's insistence on one way suggests you deal in mainly one type of tissue like skin or GI.

When you have only one way to skin your cat, figuratively speaking, something (be it ice, freeze spray, or blades) WILL be used in excess. For example, your supervisor's technique would likely run through a lot more blades.  To make great slides, you HAVE to have a sharp, high quality blade to cut a great section, period. But using an ice tray to keep your blocks cold helps your blades go a bit farther.

Remember, patient care should never be compromised; if you need to use a fresh blade to get the best section, I can't imagine any sane and reasonable pathologist who wouldn't side with you.

A skilled histotech who is proficient in cutting can use ice trays and not waste any time. As a point of reference, I can face(or trim) AND cut 40+ slides at 3 microns in 30 minutes USING an ice tray. That's VERY efficient.

It is more likely that one would have to wrestle with a warm or room temperature block longer with using only spray to get the best section.

You are an artist and there are many techniques to get the desired results in creating your masterpiece. I would certainly be receptive to learning different techniques from your supervisor to ADD to your repertoire, but I would be steadfast in finding what works for you , within reason and departmental expenses of course. Also ask for help in ways to be more efficient that utilizes processes you already are familiar with.

Hope that helps


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