Just having your hands in the cold air isn't usually the problem. Each tech, according to their particular style, usually rests their hand on the knife holder in some manner for stability while picking up the sections on the slides. The rate of extraction of heat by contact with -20 degree metal is much greater than the rate by simple exposure to -20 degree air. It is these points of repeated contact between skin and metal that usually suffer from frostbite. I have tried various kinds of gloves and slip-on finger protectors, but in the final analysis I find that bandaids carefully applied to the specific points of contact provide enough insulation to prevent skin damage. I buy the extra wide ones.
> From: firstname.lastname@example.org on behalf of jstaruk
> Sent: Tuesday, November 20, 2007 7:49 PM
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: [Histonet] How to keep cryostating without getting frostbite?
> Hey all,
> Are there any tricks on how to keep your fingers from getting frostbite
> while doing cryostat sectioning for 8 hours a day? My poor techs who have
> been cutting frozen sections for several straight days now are starting to
> complain about these inhumane conditions! Do all of you MOHS techs have
> bleeding, chapped hands and numb fingertips?
> Thank you in advance for any suggestions and Happy Thanksgiving to all!
> Jim Staruk
> Mass Histology Service
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