was 10% NBF. How to check the concentration, is now a long reply

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From:Robert Schoonhoven <rschoonh@sph.unc.edu>
To:Don Hammer <donh7@earthlink.net>
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I agree fully with Don's comments below.  In the quarter century + (OK I
admit that I've been aroud for a while) that I have been involved in
Histology and Electron Microscopy I have found that in the laboratories
that have inadequately trained technicians the reasons can be placed at
the pathologists door.  I admit that I was lucky in my early years and
worked for some pathologists that encouraged and valued the cotinuing
education of their technologists (thanks to Dr.'s Wayne Bowden, Bill
Cox, Steve Bauserman and Dale Kessler).  I have been in literally
hundreds of histology and E.M. lab.'s throughout the United States and
Europe, some were outstanding most were average (don't ask me for the
deffinition) and there were a few that were poor.  Poor not just in
quality but in training and support.  With a very few excptions it was
the pathologists that were at fault for not funding any Continuing
Education feeling that it wasn't necessary to send tech's to meetings or
even buying some good texts.  Mind you these same pathologists would go
to several meetings a year for their CE's....  I could go on but won't
as Don has pertty much said what I feel.

best regards,
Robert Schoonhoven
Laboratory of Molecular Carcinogenesis and Mutagenesis
Dept. of Environmental Sciences and Engineering
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
office 919-966-6343
   Lab 919-966-6140
   Fax 919-966-6123 

Don't go around saying the world owes you a living; the world owes you
nothing; it was here first. 
Mark Twain [Samuel Langhornne Clemens] (1835-1910)

Don Hammer wrote:
> Hi Bob,
> Might be a valid point but I still have to disagree.  Someone, please feel
> free to tell me  to just go retire, give it up, and shut up.   NEVER!!
> *Evil Grin*
> It's been awhile ago, but somewhere in training myself in Histology
> techniques, I learned to use Anhydrous.  Guess I'd like to think most have
> learned that as well, but perhaps the hospitals you cover are different. Are
> the Histotechs in these hospitals on Histonet?  Do they attend NSH
> meetings?, State meetings?  Are they Certified?  Do they partake in CAP
> required Continuing Education sessions?  If so, perhaps making Formalin
> would be a good monthly CE session.
> In every lab I have worked in, as a solo or having several employees, the
> supply catalogs for the lab were in immediate reach and I think this is true
> for most labs.  If they are not, then perhaps the Pathologist Director
> should make sure they are.  He/She is, by CLIA regulations, ultimately
> responsible, altho able to delegate almost any authority, short of diagnosis
> to the techs and hold them responsible. Histotechs do not exist in the eyes
> of CLIA, only Pathologists.  So being the sole person responsible in CLIA's
> eyes, I submit it is his/her responsibility to either hire trained
> Histotechs, or train them well and keep them trained.   I have met very few
> not willing to be responsible.  Most take on more responsibility then they
> should based on limited direction and communication from and with their
> leader, partner and guide(s).
> Oh, never forgot to add the Formaldehyde,  but one time a  30 gal. tank I
> had designed to fit under the cabinet overflowed.  It was complete with a
> mixing stirrer and was water fed.  I forgot the damn facet was on when I
> went to do an Autopsy.  :(    Now there was a case of the fumes, albeit
> clean floors :(  Open  to the entire Clinical Lab too.....paid  back the
> lady who spilled a 24 hour urine specimen next to my work area.  :)
> I think teaching those that don't know is a much better use of healthcare
> dollars than buying 90% water and paying to have it shipped.   Man, there
> goes any free drinks from distributors at the NSH meeting in Milwaukee.  :)
> Oh well, always did buy most of my own so as not to feel obligated.
> Don Hammer, Retired Guy (opinionated too)  *warm smile*
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: <RSRICHMOND@aol.com>
> To: <histonet@pathology.swmed.edu>
> Sent: Saturday, February 19, 2000 5:50 AM
> Subject: Re: 10% NBF. How to check the concentration.
> > Don Hammer
> >
> > >>I would suggest they toss it out and make their own 10% Formalin. (take
> > control)  It's the simplest "recipe" in the books. <<
> >
> > Actually it's not, to judge my the Samurai Pathologist's experience. Small
> > labs commonly prepared their own phosphate buffered formalin until well
> into
> > the 1980's. In my experience most of them did it wrong, with significant
> > adverse consequences in the slides.
> >
> > The major problem was the dibasic sodium phosphate (Na2HPO4). This
> material
> > is available both in the anhydrous form, and as a heptahydrate salt which
> is
> > nearly half water. Older books do not specify which form is to be used,
> > though they mean to specify the anhydrous form. But since the heptahydrate
> > salt, being nearly half water, is the cheapest, that's what the lab
> manager
> > (the only person with access to the catalog) orders. Obviously in this
> > circumstance you can recalculate the formula, but that requires a high
> school
> > chemistry course, which the pathologist has forgotten and the histotech
> never
> > took.
> >
> > Another common and disastrous error - I've seen it several times, and
> confess
> > to having made it myself once - is to go to all the trouble of weighing
> out
> > the buffer salts and getting them to dissolve - and then forget to add the
> > formaldehyde at all!
> >
> > Buying ready-made neutral buffered formalin is a significant expense and
> an
> > environmental absurdity, but in my experience it's the best way to go.
> >
> > Bob Richmond
> > Samurai Pathologist
> > Knoxville TN
> >
> >


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