RE: Automation of Special Stains - QC

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From:"Tom T. McNemar" <>
To:"Colbert, Laurie" <>, "''" <>

With regard to the question of positive/negative controls.....  In our lab
we mount the positive control on the same slide as the patient.  This way
you always know that the control and patient were stained exactly the same.
Granted, we go through a huge number of control blocks but so far they have
been pretty easy to come by.  We buy special slides that have a red box for
the control tissue.  It has worked well for us.
Tom Mc Nemar
Pathology Supervisor
Licking Memorial Hospital
Newark, Ohio

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Colbert, Laurie []
> Sent:	Sunday, March 19, 2000 2:37 PM
> To:	''
> Subject:	RE: Automation of Special Stains
> In the past we used the Leica Autostainer to do some special stains.  This
> worked well, but large amounts of reagent were needed to fill the slide
> buckets on the stainer and the number of stains that could be performed at
> one time was limited.
> We now have two Cytologix stainers in our lab.  One was purchased and one
> is
> on loan until Cytologix can improve on the turn-around time.  The stains
> are
> really nice on this stainer, but there are a  few problems with
> consistency.
> The stainer can accommodate 48 slides at one time, but, as I mentioned
> earlier, the turn-around time is not good when you have multiple stains or
> multiple slides (more that 3 or 4) slides of one stain.  What is really
> nice
> is that we can run stains overnight and they are ready to hand out first
> thing in the morning.  So this aspect has improved our turn-around time.
> Cytologix is aware of the problems with their stainer, and they are very
> receptive to any issue or problem we have had.  I think this is going to
> be
> a really great stainer down the line when some of the bugs have been
> worked
> out.  For now, we will continue work around the problems, and the stainer
> really has saved us several times when we were short on people.  And I
> have
> to emphasize that their customer service has been good.
> I may be opening a can of worms here, but I have a question in regards to
> automation of stains.  I feel there is no real quality control on the
> stainers that stain one slide at a time (vs. batch staining as on the
> Leica
> Autostainer).  Sure, your control may be positive, but how do you know the
> patient slide was stained properly when it is stained independent of the
> control slide?  We have had our control slide come out negative, but our
> patient was positive, so who's to say that this couldn't  happen the other
> way around???
> Laurie Colbert
> Saint Joseph Medical Center
> Burbank, CA

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