Re: embedding

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From:"Margaret Terry" <>,
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I agree with you John. This was what I was taught too, many moons ago. I'm always surprised to see examples in print of the long axis of the block being presented at right angles to the knife. The shortest route through the block is supposed to minimize compression. The one problem that arises is multiple pieces of skin in a block which are too large to fit side by side. We tend to try and stagger them, forming 2 rows one above the other, while maintaining the same epithelial orientation in relation to the knife edge. Less pieces per block would be nice, but.....!!!
Margaret Terry
St. Joseph's Health Centre.

>>> "Mackinnon, John" <> 05/08 3:01 PM >>>
I know that there was some discussion recently about proper embedding
techniques but what I am looking for is comments from people out there and
how they do things.  

I know that I was taught to line my skins up horizontally (can be slightly
angled) with the dermal layer to the top and being the last part the knife
cuts through.  Things like uterus slightly angled to make cutting easier and
tubular multiple tubular structures lined up horizontally etc.  I was also
told that you should place your larger rectangular blocks horizontally since
this gives you the shortest distance through the wax and less compression
and less chance for wrinkles in tissue sections.  Well that is my two cents
worth now lets hear yours.  (especially those doing a lot of derm path)

Thanks in advance,  
John MacKinnon MLT, ART
Senior Technologist, Pathology
Lakeridge Health Oshawa
Ontario, Canada

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