Placenta block storage

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In a message dated 5/20/00, Sharon Tipton (Histochick) writes:

<< Recently the OB-GYN docs requested that we keep placenta blocks for some 
21 or so  years - from birth to adulthood - "just in case" We put these 
tissues in blue cassettes for easy identification. Is that politically 
correct?!!! (Please don't tell me I have to add pink to be fair!) - Shar >>

This is something I've been wondering about. The basic lawyer-type thinking 
is here: if your kid flunks out of college, sue the obstetrician that 
delivered him - eighteen years, plus discovery. Then presumably the old 
slides - and perhaps the five-odd paraffin blocks - need to be resurrected in 
the obstetrician's defense.

Can you ask your OB-GYN's if they have references suggesting this practice? 
I've rather thought that this request would eventually come up.

In the present turmoil of American medicine, one thinks that rather few of 
our present pathology services will be around 20 years from now. I wonder if 
the next request will be for centralized long-term archiving of placenta 
slides and blocks.

Or maybe wet tissue in all its gory glory. The mind begins to boggle, in a 
nation with 5% of the world's population and 75% of its lawyers.

Bob Richmond
Samurai Pathologist
Knoxville TN

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