Re: microtome knife safety

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From:"Vicki Gauch" <>
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 We have had incidents with knife accidents ranging from small nicks to losing the top half of someone's finger so we too were interested in preventing future incidents.  We started training new people (and requesting of the long term techs ) to use forceps to pick up the tissue ribbons since most of the accidents in our lab happened while trying to pick up the ribbons.  Though this was a painful transition for those of us who learned using our fingers to get the ribbon, the results were well worth it.  We have only had one incident as of late and that involved a tech NOT using forceps.  We also require that knives be removed from the microtomes when  you leave your station and the usual common sense precautions.  I hope this helps....

Vicki Gauch
Albany Medical Center
>>> Marylou Pohl <> 04/25/00 01:12AM >>>
We had 2 incidents of employees knicking their finger on a microtome
knife in the past year.  No stitches, just superficial cuts.  One was
experienced and the other a newer employee.  Our safety committee wants
us to investigate use of special gloves to prevent this. They don't
understand how Histology works.  I think this is overkill and feel that
just being more careful will be a step in the right direction.  I also
know there are knife protectors I could look into however what I've seen
limit the space you have to work.

What are your thoughts out there?  What corrective action would you


Marylou Pohl
VAWNYHealthcare System

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