RE: reference for CJD - sodium hydroxide

From:"Gamble,Marilyn S" <>

Pathologists in our area refrain from doing brains on dementia cases and
refer them to a specialized facility.  Is this procedure not widely

> -----Original Message-----
> From: []
> Sent:	Thursday, January 11, 2001 11:06 AM
> Cc:
> Subject:	Re: reference for CJD - sodium hydroxide
> Thanks to LuAnn Anderson in Neuropathology at the University of Minnesota
> for 
> clarifying the precautions used in a large specialty laboratory in
> handling 
> tissue from prion diseases.
> What concerns me is the extension of these precautions to less specialized
> laboratories. Most of the pathology services I work in are very ill
> equipped, 
> both in terms of technical expertise or equipment, to handle either 
> infectious material or hazardous materials. (For example, in most of the 
> services I work in, I have to handle both formaldehyde and aromatic
> solvents 
> in areas with little or no ventilation. The various inspectors look the
> other 
> way, or are too ignorant to look at all.)
> I spend a lot of time trying to talk to people on these services about
> very 
> elementary chemical and biological hygiene issues, usually with no effect
> at 
> all. (That's the way they've always done it, after all.) So I am very 
> cautious about suggesting introducing additional hazardous materials into 
> work places that cannot handle them safely.
> I strongly suspect that the eventual outcome of all this is that small 
> hospital histopathology services will become impractical. I'm glad I won't
> be 
> around to see it happen.
> Bob Richmond
> Samurai Pathologist
> Knoxville TN

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