RE: Cryostat knives

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From:Alan Bright <>
To:'Vinnie Della Speranza' <>,
Content-Type:text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1

Hi Vinnie,

We are cryostat manufactures and would just like to point out a few ways of
addressing this problem.

1) Remove knife from knife holder and store knife in knife box inside the
microtome chamber, this would then have the knife cool for use on demand. If
two knives are stored in this way then a new knife can be used for each

2) Leave the knife in place and use knife guards.

3) Use disposable knives and remove when not in use, a disposable knives at
room temperature will only take 20 seconds to get to microtome temperature.

But having said all this, I think the main problem is the fact that so many
cryostat have anti-roll plates that are a problem to set up, therefore this
is one of the main problems as to why users do not like to remove the knife.

In conclusion make sure when replacing a cryostat that you are happy with
the anti-roll plate system fitted, and that it is easy to set up, then you
will not be afraid to remove knives.

Alan Bright
Bright Instrument Co.Ltd.


-----Original Message-----
From: Vinnie Della Speranza []
Sent: 26 June 2000 18:09
Subject: Cryostat knives

in the aftermath of an employee injury, our safety officer is insisting that
we remove cryostat knives at the end of the shift (leaving no blade in the
cyrostat over night) and change blades in between patients. She claims that
failure to do so would be a violation of OSHA's requirements for safe work
practices. The employee nicked her thumb while tidying up the interior of
one of our units.

We commonly juggle frozen section specimens from more than one patient
simulataneously. We are a busy facility with a very large transplant
program. It is not uncommon for pathologists to be called to do frozens at
odd hours, hence the need for a cold knife that is ready to go at all times.

I would like to hear your thoughts on this matter and from facilities who
might be using practices similar to that being asked of us. Thanks


Vinnie Della Speranza
Manager for Anatomic Pathology Services
Medical University of South Carolina
165 Ashley Avenue
Suite 309
Charleston, SC  29425
ph:  (843) 792-6353
fax: (843) 792-8974

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