Re: Paraffin Blocks-Questions

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Cathy De Viney asks again about handling and disposal of paraffin blocks:

I've never seen a laboratory use any special precautions in mailing or
otherwise shipping single paraffin blocks - not even the ZipLoc bag she
suggests, though that does seem like a good idea in case the package gets
overheated in transit. I don't know of any regulations about this, and
medically it seems to me to be acceptable.

I think the primary purpose of disposing of paraffin blocks as biohazardous
trash is the practical one of making sure they actually get disposed of, but
I do think there is some biohazard in large numbers of paraffin blocks taken

Once again - should we be disposing of patients' paraffin blocks at the dawn
of an age (dream on!) of molecular pathology? - I think that some system of
marking blocks for disposal or retention - done at the time the pathologist
signs the case out - needs to be thought out. I've seen one such system, but
it was totally impractical, invented by an old solo pathologist faced with
the overwhelming need to make eight itty bitty surgicals last all day.

Bob Richmond
Samurai Pathologist
Knoxville TN

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