US Soaking blocks--dozens of ways RE: [Histonet] curious about soaking paraffin blocks.

From:"Cheryl R. Kerry"


It varies by location and even by tech in a single location.  Generally the
blocks are cooled from their molten state on an embedding center cold plate
and that's where the variances begin.

Some facilities use wet ice either frozen filled in a plastic container or
from and ice machine, some use the plastic histology trays and some use
embedding station cold plates for each cutting station to keep blocks cold
as they cut.  Some facilities face the blocks before they cut, others don't.

If they soak their blocks, some places use a second container of water and
then put them on ice, others use just wet ice, still others use ammonia
water (I've seen plastic containers filled with ammonia water and frozen to
use as a block).  Yet other facilities use saline to prevent swelling, and
others use soapy water to cut surface tension to allow the moisture to
penetrate more quickly. I've even seen a place that uses a dilute solution
of Aerosol OT to soak.

There a dozens of other ways I probably don't know--but most places use what
works for them and allow each tech to adjust to get a good end product
assuming that no harm is done and no tissue is lost due to the choices made.

Hope this helps--


Cheryl R. Kerry, HT(ASCP)
Full Staff Inc.
Staffing the AP Lab, one great tech at a time.
281.852.9457 office
281.883.7704 cell
800.756.3309 fax and alternate phone

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Gudrun Lang
Sent: Friday, October 26, 2007 11:03 AM
Subject: AW: [Histonet] curious about soaking paraffin blocks.

To start at the beginning again. Do the US-histotechs cool the blocks on a
coolplate and subsequently soak them in ice-water or ammoniacal water?

Gudrun Lang
Biomed. Analytikerin
Akh Linz
Krankenhausstr. 9
4020 Linz

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