Articles

#2 “Non-Routine” Handling

In the previous blog we looked at one way to minimize troubleshooting by being proactive and looking ahead to possible situations and procedures that exist in your laboratory that may cause sub-optimal events. This blog will continue with that same mind set. Some specimens may be received in formalin into the routine lab; however, they …

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#1 How to Minimize Troubleshooting

How to Minimize Troubleshooting in Histology Laboratories

A definition of troubleshooting in histology is: the identification of the cause of a sub-optimal event which occurs in the laboratory and the successful implementation of the corrective action of the event. Since both equipment and humans have error rates associated with them, there will always be an issue that requires troubleshooting. A series of …

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Fume Containment Hoods

Fume Containment Hoods – to duct, or not to duct, that is the question If Prince Hamlet from William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet was living today as a laboratory scientist, he might be pondering, “To duct, or not to duct, that is the question”. This would be very fitting because an informed decision is needed when …

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Handling Hazardous Chemical Waste

Introduction The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines waste as any solid, liquid or contained gas that is no longer used and is designated for disposal or recycling.  If the waste can cause injury or death, or pollute land, water or air, it is deemed to be hazardous.  The EPA regulates hazardous waste at the …

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The Latest in Microscopy

As histologists, you should be familiar with the light microscope. It is generally accepted that in 1674, Anthony van Leeuwenhoek invented the modern light microscope. Though Robert Hooke hand-shaved thin slices of cork to view under a magnifying glass in 1665 (hence the coining of the word “cell”), van Leeuwenhoek perfected the art of grinding …

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Chemical Monitoring

osha Blog

Every pathology department and associated histology laboratory must have a chemical monitoring program.  It may be part of a larger Chemical Hygiene Plan.  Laboratory employees must be kept safe by providing information on dangers, explaining the ways in which employees can protect themselves, and providing annual training to reinforce this information.  This is not just …

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Small Specimens

Small Specimens Blog

Some specimens may be very tiny; on the order of less than 0.1 cm.  Some methods employ the use of mesh cassettes, “tea bag” biopsy pouches, sponges, wrapping paper, etc. in order to contain the specimen and prevent it from escaping the tissue processing cassette.  A disadvantage of the above methods is that upon embedding, …

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Grossing Hoods – The Front Line of Protection

Grossing Hoods Figure 1

All laboratory personnel should be aware of and know what personal protective equipment (PPE) they should wear while performing various tasks in the histology laboratory.  Employers are responsible for educating laboratory personnel about what hazardous chemicals they might handle, how to handle them safely and what specific protective equipment to wear for each and every …

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Dermatopathology Laboratory Techniques

Dermatopathology Laboratory Techniques

Book Review By Terence J. Harrist, MD Strata Dx,  Lexington, Massachusetts The book “Dermatopathology Laboratory Techniques” should be useful to grossing technicians, physician assistants, pathology / dermatology residents and histotechnicians who require understanding of basic skin anatomy, terminology, methods of fixation, grossing procedures and tissue processing. Skin specimens come in a variety of types, each …

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The H&E Stain: Far From Routine Part 2

This blog is a followup to the previous article “The H&E Stain: Far From Routine”.  In that article, the basics of the routine hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) stain were discussed.  Now we shall discuss how to trouble shoot the routine H&E and how to ensure a high quality stain, once you have worked with your …

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