For the benefit of anyone who read my original post and were awaiting
the outcome, the following explanation was arrived at after
investigating what may have been done differently in the lead up to the
the problem and with the help and advise of many of you, my Histonet
colleagues! Thank you.
I think what has happened is that our processor normally gets all of
its reagents changed on Mondays. This past Monday was Canadian
Thanksgiving, a holiday. Then on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings our
Assistant was tied up with autopsies and so the processor did not get
its reagents changed until Thursday. And as it happens we had unually
high workloads on both Thursday night last week and Wednesday night this
week (the night we processed the offending specimens). Not all of the
cassettes were affected equally, but my best guess is that those with
biopsy pads (and not all with biopsy pads mind you) were somehow more
susceptible to the poor reagents than the non-biopsy pad
specimens-perhaps because of increased carryover in the pads and as was
suggested, by some, not all tissues are "created equal" (ie different
consistencies, densities, etc.).
Thanks again to all to took time to respond!
Mystery to solve. Some of the surgical cases that came off our stainer
today had very pale washed out looking nuclei. Our H&E control was fine
(ran it twice) so it tells me the problem is either at the source or in
the tissue processor. However, since not all cases are affected, I can't
see how it could be the processor (VIP 5).
So if it is the source, what are we talking about-something other than
formalin in their formalin bottles? Contaminated formalin? Insufficient
Any and all comments will be welcome.
Thanks in advance (again!)
Greg Dobbin, R.T.
Chief Technologist, Histology Lab
Dept. of Laboratory Medicine,
Queen Elizabeth Hospital,
P.O. Box 6600
Charlottetown, PE C1A 8T5
Phone: (902) 894-2337
Fax: (902) 894-2385
There is some merit in doing the right thing rather badly,
but absolutely none in doing the wrong thing excellently!
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