RE: [Histonet] exhausting tissue blocks


Have you expressed your concerns to the pathologists?  Too many times
I've seen histotechs timid about an open dialog with their pathologists.
In this case the reason is simple to the pathologist. I have had reason
to exhaust all tissue many times through my career.  CAP says that you
have to retain the blocks; it doesn't say you have to keep tissue in
them.  If the pathologist is looking for a small focus of malignancy and
it hasn't shown up on the slides he has but is found later on deeper
cuts he could be sued.  As lawsuits are becoming more numerous
pathologists are becoming more "gun shy" about leaving unexamined tissue
within the block especially when the case is clinically highly
suspicious for disease and none is found in the slides examined.
Keeping the exhausted block for 10 years proves that no tissue remains
and the slides the diagnosis was made from are also available.

Charles Embrey
Pathologists' Assistant
Urbana, IL  

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Dawn
Sent: Friday, March 11, 2005 11:59 AM
To: histonet
Subject: [Histonet] exhausting tissue blocks

hello histonetters,
I was wondering what thoughts any of you have on the subject of cutting
away and exhausting tissue blocks when doing recuts. We often get
requests from our pathologists to cut deepers and exhaust the block ie:
exhaust in 3 slides of deepers. Does anyone know of any reg's that cover
this kind of thing? It really goes against the grain to cut away all the
tissue. Plus, we are supposed to keep the blocks for 10 years. It
defeats the purpose of doing so.
Any response would be appreciated.
Dawn Cowie, HT 
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