Re: Re - formaldehyde substitutes

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From:Patricia E Quattrone <>

We use Prefer for all our specimen containers that go to OR.  Though it
works ok for smaller specimens it does not penitrate as fast as Formalin
and larger, fatty specimens ie: colons, breast, uterus etc. will autolize
in the center if not opened properly.  We ask OR to bring the larger
specimens to Histo fresh. The pathologist opens the specimen and we fix
it in Formalin.  Our pathologists insist on Formalin use in the histo lab
only and we do have excellent ventilation.  Another drawback with Prefer
is the result of poor staining of eosinophils. We use SafeFix II for the
biopsy containers.  It is ok for small biopsies and the eosinophils will
stain. We get Safe Fix II through Fisher Scientific.  We don't do
long-term specimen storage.  Our policy is to retain the specimen for 2
weeks after the case is signed out.  As for Preserve and glyco fixx I
have not tried them.  We did try STAT FIX in the past with less than
favorible results.  Over all, Prefer has been the best formalin substitue
fixative we have tried and have worked around the problems associatied
with it.

On Fri, 23 Jun 2000 19:11:58 +0100 Clarke Ian <>
> Dear Histonetters,
>                                 I have a query regarding the 
> formaldehyde
> substitutes ,Prefer,Preserve and glyco fixx .We are in the process 
> of trying
> out these alternatives and have been told by a Rep, that we would 
> require
> formaldehyde to store tissue samples .As we are wanting to eliminate 
> the use
> of formaldehyde in our laboratory is this the case?Does anyone out 
> there
> utilise these fixatives routinely and do you store your tissue in 
> these
> products .I know we could use 70% alcohol as a storage medium but 
> this may
> cause a fire risk.
> Thanking you in advance
> Ian Clarke
> Histopathology/Cytopathology Department
> Craigavon Area hospital NHS Trust
> UK

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