RE: [Histonet] Floaters, erroneous tissue, on a slide or embedded in block

From:"Thomas Jasper"

Hey Meredith,

I believe Renee Buesa has commented that "0" is the desired average for
floaters...I agree.  It sounds like you are being diligent about
avoiding them and obviously you're not at zero.  I'd say we are in the
same boat around here.  We are neat and tidy at all workstations and our
pathologists often express their appreciation of this.  We do get that
occasional floater though.  Just wanted to mention...if floaters
originate at the grossing bench, obviously you're not the cause.
Certainly pathologists, PAs, and grossing techs work to avoid them as
well, but it happens.  At my old job, we had a very particular
pathologist that kept a wet sponge on the bench.  He was quite diligent
about keeping the grossing tools clean and clear.  Another trouble spot
may be forceps warmers.  Regularly taking a q-tip or something to them
for cleaning out, helps eliminate a potential floater source.  Also
wiping the forceps off between blocks is helpful.  I miss the old Bunsen
burner days.  I realize, without a doubt, that an open flame in the lab
is, and should be strictly...verboten!  But, you've got to admit it
certainly kept the forceps free of debris.  Also when sectioning, I
stress to our techs, please skim the water bath between blocks.  Even
so, you may get a stray, something or another, catching an edge on a
Anyway like I said, we're always doing our best to eliminate this
problem, as it seems you are too.  And you may be aware of, and practice
what I've mentioned.  Just wanted you to know you're not alone.  Keep up
the good work.

Have a good day,
Tom J.

Thomas Jasper HT (ASCP) BAS
Histology Supervisor
Central Oregon Regional Pathology Services
Bend, Oregon 97701


-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Meredith
Sent: Wednesday, March 26, 2008 7:39 AM
Subject: [Histonet] Floaters, erroneous tissue,on a slide or embedded in

For monitoring risk management we keep a monthly tally of floaters found
on stained slides. Even with cleaning of molds and wiping down embedding
area we still might have a month with two or three incidences. Is there
any data for an average expectation of occurrences per month.
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