Re: [Histonet] What are peoples feelings on pre labling slides?

From:Rene J Buesa

  My personal experience:
  In the labs I have supervised all those histotechs that used to label their own slides, did the labelling after the blocks were trimmed (faced off) and were cooling in the tray. To allow a better cooling they used to hand write the labels that they organized according with the blocks that were cut immediately after.
  There were histotechs that used to label the slide after they picked up the sections from the water bath while the block was still in the microtome.
  Other large laboratory I supervised had slides writing machines and the slides were written before the tissues were even finished processing. A lab aide did the writing and another matched slides with blocks that were handed out to the histotechs.
  I know of supervisors that say it is a no-no to prelabel slides.
  In my experience any mismatch is due to the histotech and not to the system. In the same way that any dislexic histotech can write the wrong number before or after the section has been cut.
  Everything boils down to the care and attention the histotecs pays to his/her work, not when the slides are written.
  Hope this will help.
  René J.

"Stephen Peters M.D."  wrote:
  I am curious to see if it is considered acceptable practice to pre-label multiple 
slides before cutting the blocks and picking the tissues up on these pre-labeled 
slides. We came close to a dangerous misdiagnosis because a tech picked up
a malignant section from a " part 2 breast biopsy" on a prelabled part 1 slide. Luckily it made no sense that only one of many slides contained tumor that 
looked like it was coming from an advanced tumor. After playing match the blocks
it was obvious that the malignant part one slide matched a part 2 block. It seems 
to me that this is a potentially dangerous habit despite the convenience of 
assembly line labeling. Early in my career I stopped labeling my frozen section slides 
up front and wait until after I pick up the section. When I am cutting frozens I make
variable #s of slides depending on the situation. Working quickly under the
pressure of multiple cases it is not hard to pick up the wrong slide and make
this mistake. I am curious to hear peoples thoughts.

Stephen Peters M.D. 
Vice Chairman of Pathology
Hackensack University Medical Center 
201 996 4836

Pathology Innovations, LLC 
410 Old Mill Lane, 
Wyckoff, NJ 07481 
201 847 7600 

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