[Histonet] Gram Stain kit and other stuff

From:Paul Bradbury

I have a fundamental question to ask here.

Why on earth would anyone want to automate Gram's stain? It is the 
simplest, quickest stain in the Histotechnologist's repertoire. It is 
also the cheapest stain to perform; less than $20.00 worth of reagents 
will last for years and stain hundreds of slides. Why buy an overpriced 
kit and then take up space on a machine that could be used for staining 
procedures that truly benefit from automation.

One of last week's messages requested information about a supplier for 
Carnoy's fixative. Any laboratory worker can make Carnoy; it's not 
difficult! It's also a fraction of the price of the "commercial" Carnoy. 
Every other solution used in the Histology laboratory can be prepared 
for a fraction of the commercial cost.

Another thread last week discussed the rising costs of procedures, 
billing, and the seemingly endless increases in health care 
expenditures. Yet, we seem to be becomimg more and more reliant on 
buying kits for every method and purchasing commercially-prepared 
reagents for every application.

I am not advocating going back to doing everything manually, using 
home-made reagents, but I think we have to be more aware of the inflated 
costs involved in the use of automated techniques and commercially 
prepared reagents. Many hospitals or universities offer rewards to 
employees who suggest cost-saving ideas.  You see where I am going with 

Just my thoughts for what they are worth,

Paul Bradbury
Kamloops, BC, Canada

>Hello Histonetters,
>   We just purchased a Ventana special stainer but it's not capable of  performing a Gram stain.  Does anyone know of a good kit to purchase??? Harleco was recommended but would still like to see what everyone else is using, thanks, jill
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