[Histonet] Re: How many years you keep paraffin blocks and slides?


Far be it from me to encourage independent thinking, rather than blind 
compliance with regulations - but it seems to me that this issue needs looking at 

Assuming that the dismal specialty of surgical pathology continues in its 
present form at all, we're clearly going to need to retain paraffin blocks for a 
great deal longer than ten years, perhaps indefinitely.

The profusion of new molecular methods means that we're going to be doing 
procedures as yet undreamed of on our patient's old paraffin blocks. I think that 
the demand for such services will increase in the future.

Since liability for obstetrical problems extends to the child's majority, 
plus discovery (i.e., around twenty years) we're going to have to be able to 
produce placental blocks and slides for that long. 

Obviously the storage problems are formidable, since paraffin blocks require 
temperature controlled storage, and slides are extremely heavy. Meanwhile, as 
hospitals add ever more bureaucrats and paper pushers, the demand to 
relinquish floor space increases.

I think that the academics, the CAP, and other interested parties need to be 
looking into this.

Bob Richmond
Samurai Pathologist
Knoxville TN

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