Re: Cryostat knives

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From:Becky Scholes <>,
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I'll bet the Safety Officer has never done a frozen section, and does not 
know the frustration of a knife blade that is dull or warm.  If the employee 
knicked her thumb when cleaning up, maybe knife guards in the form of corks 
should be placed on the ends.  Makes more sense to me than having to remove 
the blade every time.  Emphasize to your Safety "expert" that the vital 
turn-around time that CAP requires will not allow you to fiddle around with 
the blade every time.  Besides that, emphasize to her that more injuries 
will result from constant handling of the knife that leaving it stationary.  
I would definitely put some guards on the blade instead of removing it. might have to change the method and/or freqency that the unit is 
"tidied up".  We use disposable blades, and remove them only when defrosting 
or moving out of a dull area.

Good luck!
Bec the Tec

>From: Vinnie Della Speranza <>
>Subject: Cryostat knives
>Date: Mon, 26 Jun 2000 13:08:32 -0400
>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 
>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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